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

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Are there any good individualistic measures of linguistic conservatism?

I am currently examining how differing levels of genderisation across languages (French, Finnish, and Norwegian) affects self-perception and the social perception of others through the utilisation of ...
3
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2answers
154 views

Why do most languages have multiple genders? Also, how do languages determine what gender to give things?

In many languages (unlike English) if translated literally, you would have people saying "the masculine case X," "the feminine case that," or "the neuter case this other." To make things even more ...
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1answer
62 views

Languages with only a gender-neutral word for aunt/uncle

English has the words brother and sister, but then we also have the word sibling as a gender-neutral version. We have the words aunt and uncle as well, but no gender-neutral version. What languages ...
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2answers
185 views

Who was the first to call noun classes “genders”?

I'm not asking about the origin of grammatical gender. I am asking where is the earliest example of the term "gender" used to describe classes of nouns. I'm wondering who first decided to name ...
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1answer
75 views

How and when do French children learn to select between masculine and feminine forms of words when referring to themselves?

I am interested in what knowledge we have regarding the process by which a young child acquiring French as a first language learns to choose correctly between the masculine and feminine forms of ...
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1answer
71 views

Does Swedish always had common and neuter genders?

Exactly as stated in the title. I wonder if it always been that way or it is some modern concept to enforce gender equality?
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2answers
98 views

Is there any language in which the gender of the subject/object is marked in every verb conjugation?

Besides Spanish where you have comerla (feminine, eat her) or comerlo (masculine, eat him), but only works for certain verb conjugations. Any other language where the gender of objects/subjects is ...
2
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1answer
40 views

What's a good source to say if a word is masculine or feminine in Sanskrit?

I trying to write a few verses and knowing the gender might change the meaning. A good source to Sanskrit grammar would also be accepted!
2
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2answers
91 views

Why do languages have gendered nouns?

Why do languages have gendered nouns? What are the problems that are solved by having gendered nouns?
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2answers
232 views

How stable are grammatical genders?

In languages which have gender-like classifications for nouns, like French and Russian, how often do nouns change gender over time? Have any studies been done to get statistics on how many words have ...
1
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1answer
76 views

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 ...
7
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3answers
286 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
96 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 ...
5
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1answer
479 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
238 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 "...
4
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4answers
338 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
75 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? ...
3
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3answers
241 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
84 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
236 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
143 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
6k views

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. ...
1
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0answers
107 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 ...
2
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0answers
37 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 ...
0
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1answer
317 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 ...
2
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2answers
163 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
1k views

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 introduced/...
22
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7answers
2k 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, ...
4
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2answers
447 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k 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 masculine,...
3
votes
3answers
942 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
351 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 ...
16
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7answers
4k views

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 ...
3
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1answer
699 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 ...
5
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0answers
197 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 ...
7
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1answer
347 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 ...
10
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4answers
514 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
848 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 ...