Grammatical Gender

Learning a second language is hard, but some aspects of a second language are more challenging to master than others. Grammatical gender is one of these things. Adult second language learners in particular have a very difficult time learning the grammatical gender of words and being able to use grammatical gender consistently in comprehension and in production. I want to know why. To that end, I have been conducting research aimed at identifying what factors make grammatical gender so difficult for adults to learn and use in a second language. This research focuses both on the conditions under which adults learn the language itself, and on how adult second language learners actually process grammatical gender online during comprehension and production. In addition, to have a comprehensive understanding of what makes mastering grammatical gender in a second language so challenging, we must also understand how grammatical gender is learned, represented and processed in native speakers. I have therefore also conducted research focusing explicitly on grammatical gender use in native speaking populations.

Kailen Shantz
Data Scientist | Linguist