Counting on number: effects of number information on grammatical processing of mass and count nouns

Nora Fieder*, Hua Chen Wang, Britta Biedermann, Lyndsey Nickels

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Previous research has found an influence of semantic number (SINGLE, MULTIPLE) on grammatical processing of mass nouns in people with aphasia. This is the first study to investigate these effects in language-unimpaired individuals. In two experiments, participants had to decide which were the appropriate determiners (e.g. Experiment 1: asingularcount – somemass/plural count) for the name of mass and count noun pictures that were depicted either as single (one bulb of garlicmass, one catcount) or as multiple objects (three bulbs of garlicmass, three catscount). Semantic number congruency between depictions and determiners was manipulated for mass nouns. A semantic number congruency effect was found in both experiments with faster and more accurate determiner decisions in the number congruent (e.g. Experiment 1: MULTIPLE) compared to the number incongruent condition (e.g. Experiment 1: SINGLE). These results provide further evidence for an influence of semantic number information on lexical-syntactic processing of mass nouns.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1034-1047
    Number of pages14
    JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
    Volume32
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2017

    Keywords

    • language
    • semantic processing
    • lexical-syntactic processing
    • mass/count information

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