A system of classes of nouns which trigger specific types of inflections in associated words.

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Who are some linguists who have an “essentialist” view?

I have to write an essay which looks at the way the study of gendered differences in language changes over time but I'm struggling to find any linguists who write with the view that language is ...
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3answers
97 views

How does the reaction against gender-specific pronouns relate to a languages' use of gender?

This is a question out of gross ignorance, so I may be way off the mark here. If that's the case, the answer should be easy to provide in the negative. My background I'm an American, I spent the ...
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1answer
66 views

Possessive determiner depending on grammatical gender of owner

Consider possessive determiners when the owner is a third person. In many languages, the determiner depends on the natural gender of the speaker (English: he-she-it) or, in languages with grammatical ...
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2answers
99 views

Which languages have three noun classes corresponding to men, women and a third gender?

Which languages have three noun classes corresponding to men, women and a third gender? Where can I find lists like this?
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1answer
97 views

Gender-specific pronouns in languages without grammatical gender?

There are various discussions, also on SE network, about the usage of "gender-neutral" language, where most controversies arise around using the pronoun "he" to address any user. Such problems are ...
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11answers
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Is there a language without gender in third person pronouns?

English (as most Indo-European languages) has a gender-neutral third person pronoun, it, but it is typically not used for people; if one wants to be gender neutral, one is often stuck using he or she. ...
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0answers
83 views

Gender/tone sandhi in [classical] Tibetan grammar?

Tibetan alphabet is a kind of abugida where glyphs may combine into new different forms, taking different positions in their combinations according to their types (see H.B. Hannah, pp. 16- 45). Each ...
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31 views

Looking for books etc on gender animacy in Oromo

I request you if you are willing and able to help me on my linguistics thesis with the title of The morphosyntax of gender animacy and clitics in Oromo. Oromo is one of the Cushitic branch languages ...
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1answer
176 views

Importance of Genders in English Nouns

I am looking at teaching a computer about grammar which could turn into teaching it sentence analysis and eventually how to formulate a response. This is the baby steps. I am defining a noun. So far ...
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2answers
92 views

How does language produce identities?

I've come to understand that language plays a central role in producing political identities such as "black", "white"; "man", "woman", "genderqueer"; "heterosexual", "queer". How exactly does language ...
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7answers
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In languages with grammatical gender, how do they determine the gender when a new word has been created?

In languages with grammatical gender that has (almost) no morphological relation between the words and the genders(e.g. French), how do they determine the gender of a new word that has been ...
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5answers
950 views

Are there any languages or cultures that have genderless given names?

In the U.S. where I live it is possible to be right almost all of the time when guessing the sex of a person from his or her given name: Ronald, George (Sand and Elliot notwithstanding), William, ...
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349 views

Proper names: does grammatical gender imply natural gender?

Questions about grammatical gender abound on this forum and on other linguistics forums. It's well known that in general, grammatical gender need not coincide with natural gender. However, I am ...
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1answer
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What are the contrasts between classifiers in isolating languages and genders in highly inflected ones?

Both isolating languages and inflected languages can have ways of marking noun classes like masculine nouns, nouns that stand for flat things, etc. Some isolating languages, like Chinese, have ...
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2answers
676 views

Gender of mixed groups defaulting to masculine – how common?

French has that rule that whenever a masculine entity is part of a group, the whole NP will default to masculine as far as agreement goes. My native language, German, also defaults gender to ...
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3answers
634 views

Gender-based name endings: Are they common?

For instance, if an English name ends in -a, it's likely female. But English has no grammatical gender, and there is no general requirement that nouns in -a refer to women. It seems like in English ...
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1answer
268 views

What is the origin of feminine ending *-ia in PIE?

I have seen two versions: a) *-ia ending actually derived from the collective number form, which also ends in *-ia. So the collective number first started to represent abstract things (compare Latin ...
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5answers
2k views

What is the origin of non-natural grammatical genders in Indo-European languages?

What is the origin of non-natural grammatical genders in Indo-European languages? (assuming that there is a single origin, if there are many, what are they) How and for what purpose did it develop? ...
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1answer
392 views

How exactly are noun classes different to classifiers?

Before the beta I would've thought questions like this one would be such basic concepts that most contributors would be familiar with them. But after a few questions on gender and animacy it seems ...
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176 views

Translation of electrical connection gender names into non-Indo-European languages [closed]

The "male/female" terminology used to identify the two halves of many, if not all, connectors and fasteners seems universal in the Western Indo-European speaking world. Do other language families ...
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1answer
255 views

Are there purely isolating/analytic languages with grammatical gender?

It seems that all the things which reflect grammatical gender in languages have to do with inflectional (presumably also agglutinative) morphology, such as agreement. But is that just coincidence, it ...
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3answers
338 views

Do some Indo European languages reflect noun class types other than gender?

In the comments of another question about animate as noun gender in some Slavic languages an interesting point was raised. Many if not most Indo European languages exhibit grammatical gender for ...
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4answers
514 views

Do some Slavic languages have an “extra” gender distinction for animate nouns?

I seem to recall hearing and reading that certain Slavic languages including Czech treat animate nouns as something like an extra gender. Even Wikipedia in some places counts more than three genders ...