Male and female forenames in English differ strikingly on many phonological dimensions, including length, accent patterns, and phoneme composition. Prior research has shown that child and adult English speakers have learned these associations. Three issues concerning this knowledge will be examined. First, experiments will test whether name phonology primes gender stereotypes in children and whether this activation affects other cognitive processes and behavioral decisions. Certain developmental theories also predict that names will have central roles in organizing and maintaining the cognitive representation of gender categories. Some predictions of this view will be tested. Thus, the first part of this grant will not only inform us about the role of name phonology in stereotype activation, but will give us more general information about the ways in which children apply their stereotype knowledge in making judgments of others and about the structure of their gender categories themselves. The second set of studies will test whether children receive evidence in storybooks and other sources for linking name phonology with gender stereotypes. Such evidence would suggest that adults implicitly encourage the organization of gender stereotypes around phonologically typical names. Finally, how are phonological cues to gender learned? This question will be addressed using two special populations: Nonnative English speakers and children with Specific Language Impairment. Both groups supposedly have normal cognitive abilities but linguistic deficits that may be localized in a domain-specific language learning system. This system could be mapped more effectively if types of linguistic knowledge could be identified that fall outside its scope. There is reason to believe that probabilistic patterns in the lexicon are acquired through general learning mechanisms. If so, then both groups should show normal acquisition of phonological cues to gender.