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Is syntax separate or shared between languages? Cross-linguistic syntactic priming in Spanish-English bilinguals. Much research in bilingualism has addressed the question of the extent to which lexical information is shared between languages. The present study investigated whether syntactic information is shared by testing if syntactic priming occurs between languages. Spanish-English bilingual participants described cards to each other in a dialogue game. We found that a participant who had just heard a sentence in Spanish tended to use the same type of sentence when describing the next card in English. In particular, English passives were considerably more common following a Spanish passive than otherwise. We use the results to extend current models of the representation of grammatical information to bilinguals. ps
The neural correlates of grammatical gender decisions in Spanish. In the current study, nine participants were asked to make gender decisions for a set of Spanish nouns while being scanned with functional MRI (fMRI). Words were chosen in which a direct mapping between ending and gender ("transparent" items such as carro(fem) or casa(masc)) is present and those in which there is not a direct relationship ("opaque" items such as fuente(fem) or arroz(masc)). Direct comparisons between opaque and transparent words revealed increased activity in left BA44/45, and BA44/6 as well as bilateral activation near BA 47/insula and the anterior cingulate gyrus. These results reveal activity in areas previously found to be devoted to articulation of the determiner and to morphological processing. Taken together they support the notion that gender decisions for opaque items requires deeper and more effortful processing during the retrieval of lexical and syntactic information. n