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

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What resources explain the oppositions in Grammatical Gender between French and Spanish noun cognates?

Abbreviate Grammatical Gender to GG. This question concerns binary contrarieties and oppositions (Are these the correct terms?) in GG between French and Spanish noun cognates. Are there any books or ...
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3answers
202 views

Is there a language in which feminine is the unmarked gender?

In English and every language I speak or know well, masculine gender is unmarked, and feminine is marked, for any human referent. Is there any known language where this is the other way around? (Take ...
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2answers
79 views

Origins of gender distinction in verbs in Slavic

This is a thing that I have been thinking about for a while. I know that PIE did not have gender distinction in verb forms, and its presence in modern Slavic languages must be an innovation. If I am ...
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1answer
435 views

Why in most (all?) languages don't adjectives have gender independently of the nouns they modify?

In many languages where nouns have gender, adjectives agree in gender with the nouns they modify. But it would be possible to imagine a language where each adjective had its own gender, which it kept ...
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2answers
220 views

Has grammatical gender ever been observed to emerge in a language that previously had none?

Does a language exist whose older forms are known to have lacked the category of grammatical gender, and which proceeded to evolve one (perhaps from a non-gender-based system of noun classes)? Are ...
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4answers
226 views

Is there a name for a word which can take both genders?

For languages with two genders, is there a name for a noun (or pronoun, adjective, etc) which can be of either gender? This seems to be quite common for names of professions, for instance, in Latin ...
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1answer
66 views

Do Persian Adjectives have Masc. Fem. and Neuter forms

For adjectives in Farsi (Persian), do they have Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter. For Example: The adjective خوب (Khoob, meaning good), does it have different forms, like in French or Russian? ...
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3answers
209 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
83 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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3answers
221 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?
2
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1answer
132 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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14answers
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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
103 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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0answers
36 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
284 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
131 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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6answers
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Are there any languages or cultures for which all given names are unisex?

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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2answers
430 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
118 views

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
912 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
856 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
330 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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6answers
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What is the origin of non-natural grammatical genders in Indo-European languages?

Non-natural grammatical genders in Indo-European languages: What is their origin (assuming that there is a single origin, if there are many origins)? Or what are the origins? How and for what ...
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1answer
649 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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0answers
196 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
326 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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4answers
494 views

Do any 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 ...
7
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4answers
758 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 ...