Questions tagged [gender]

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

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6
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1answer
86 views

Does the Bengali language have grammatical gender that's only optionally reflected in adjectives, or no grammatical gender at all?

I thought Bengali didn't have gender but did a quick Google search to check. I found pages saying that it does have gender and pages saying that it doesn't. I'm not just talking about chat pages with ...
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How is gender of an object determined in pronouns and verb conjugation in Hindi?

in Hindi language, objects are referred with masculine/feminine pronouns e.g. मेरा/मेरी (mera/meri) and verb conjugations e.g. रहा/रही है(rahi/raha hai). here are two sentences which mean- my [object] ...
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1answer
505 views

Why there is a neuter gender in some Indo-European languages, and others apparently dropped it?

Since this one was shown as "hot network question", this question is a follow-up which I do not identify (yet) as answered e.g., here, raised as an observer (chemist). As stated by the title,...
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3answers
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Since when did Indo-European languages start associating noun genders with male/female sexes?

Since what point in time did noun classes in Indo-European languages become associated with the sexes? I read that greek/latin used words that translate to "kind" to describe the noun ...
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How did the romance languages' feminine/masculine genders develop?

How did French, Spanish, Italian, end up with gendered nouns? The Wikipedia page Proto-Indo-European nominals says Originally, there probably were only an animate (masculine/feminine) and an ...
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2answers
4k views

Is there a technical name for when languages use masculine pronouns to refer to both men and women?

I know a little Arabic, and I also know English. They both have the notion of "gender" built into their syntax. I am Persian and I speak Farsi, which does not have "gender" built ...
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100 views

Why didn't speakers “default to real-world gender when making reference to animate objects”?

McWhorter contends that English and Afrikaans are "easier" to learn because they lost gender, a "difficult" feature. Given "the tendency for speakers to default to real-world ...
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1answer
130 views

Implying Gender In Finnish

I'm not sure if this is the place to ask this as this is more of a "curious" question instead of a research specific question, if that makes sense(which I guess all research starts from ...
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3answers
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Why do some Indo-European languages have genders and some don't?

In some languages, like German and French, every noun has a gender and each gender has its article. Whereas languages like English and Persian do not have genders. Why is that? Even though these ...
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8answers
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Is there a language where there are personal pronouns for the first or second person that have gender?

Is there a language where there are personal pronouns for the first or second person that have gender? Like a feminine "I" or a masculine "you".
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0answers
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Why does French use diminutive suffixes differently from other Romance languages?

I'm a native French speaker, and I noticed that for a lot of masculine objects, we use the suffix -ette to designate a smaller version of it, which turns it into a feminine word. Here are a few ...
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1answer
224 views

Are there any languages with gender neutral pronouns for unknown gender?

There are proposals to introduce in several languages gender-neutral pronouns to refer to groups of mixed gender or single individuals of unknown gender. Are there examples of existing languages that ...
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0answers
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Is there a generic English term for the relation actor:actress?

I am looking for a generic term describing the relation actor:actress or Paul:Paula, like actress is a ____ of actor. In German, there is the term Movierung for this, and it works in both directions (...
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2answers
107 views

Why is research on grammatical gender important?

I was wondering why is research on grammatical gender important? Why is exploring this area of linguistics of any interest to linguists? What can it tell us about language (especially with regards to ...
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1answer
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Do any languages/cultures other than English apply non-grammatical gender to ships?

In the English language (or maybe in English-speaking cultures?) it's common to use feminine pronouns to refer to ships (and occasionally to other types of vehicles). Are there any other languages/...
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Genderless referral to a person as existent in Thai language

While learning Thai I came across something I never knew from other languages: The titles Khun (คุณ) and Than (ท่าน) while Than is said in down tone ('): Thai people would most often refer ...
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1answer
231 views

How did these feminine mutations originate in Welsh?

It is known that the celtic languages have mutations, for instance: Welsh: *transcription depicts North Welsh dialects • normal form: Cymru [ˈkəmrɨ̞] (Wales); • soft mutation: Gymru [ˈɡəmrɨ̞] (ex.: ...
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in search of nouns with a mismatch between morphological and semantic gender [duplicate]

I am currently trying to identify nouns whose morphological gender differs from their semantic gender. Here are three examples I could identify so far: French: Le laideron - masculine morpho-...
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0answers
148 views

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and Gender Identity: Empirical Studies?

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states, briefly put, that linguistic structures affect cognitive processes. I am interested in finding out how much is known about the development of gender identity from ...
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6answers
530 views

Languages with masculine nouns for various female entities, or feminine nouns for male entities

This is not an area I'm familiar with, so if any of the following description/discussion is misguided, I apologise in advance: In languages with gendered nouns, the nouns for woman and man are ...
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2answers
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Are there languages that inflect adverbs for gender

Triggered by this answer, I am curious: Are there languages that inflect adverbs for gender or noun class? I have consulted the following two questions but the given inflections of adverbs in their ...
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2answers
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Why has the neuter gender disappeared from almost all the modern Roman languages?

Why has the neuter gender disappeared from almost all the modern Roman languages? It was completely common in Latin. And when exactly did this happen? Did it happen in Latin itself, or only after ...
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Can the need for ambiguity lead to merge of grammatical person, or other semantic merge?

My mother tongue doesn't distinguish 3.SG.F and 3.SG.M in speech. In some cases I feel the redundancy of it and the need for ambiguity of the grammatical person when I speak a language which ...
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1answer
143 views

Correlation between pronunciation of given names and gender

In a number of major Western European languages, there are some fairly straighforward correlations between the pronunciation of given names and the biological gender these names are assigned to. E.g. ...
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5answers
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In romance languages, are there examples of male names that derive from female names?

In french, there are many female given names that are derived from male given names. Those names are often obtained by adding "ine", "ette", "e" or "a" at the end of the male name. Examples include ...
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Is Italian the only modern language that uses the feminine 3rd person singular pronoun for formal speech?

Is Italian the only modern language that uses the feminine 3rd person singular pronoun (Lei) for formal speech, regardless of the gender of the 2nd person singular addressee? cf. T–V_distinction#...
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2answers
404 views

Common gender in Swedish and gender equality

I study Swedish and I have a question. I know ancient grammatical masculine and femenine gender fused into one ("common gender") at some point in time, but I was wondering... They say that the ...
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1answer
525 views

Are there any natural languages that actually have gender neutral 3rd person pronouns? [duplicate]

You see this a lot in the auxlang movement that having gendered pronouns is sexist. But making conlangs of my own, I find its absence to be often annoying. No one seems to realize how useful it is to ...
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79 views

Feminine and neuter plural

The Indo-European feminine declension looks like the neuter plural. The usual explanation seems to be that feminine evolved out of an earlier inanimate collective but the semantics doesn't seem to be ...
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4answers
848 views

Why did English “man” and Latin “homo” take both the senses “gender-neutral human” and “male adult”?

Why did English "man" and Latin "homo" take both the sense "gender-neutral human" and "male adult"? According to etymonline.com, English "man", and incidentally Latin "homo" (which originally meant "...
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3answers
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Do speakers of languages that use gendered nouns automatically use the same gendered pronouns when referring to an animal as Mr. or Mrs.?

I know this is sort of a silly question, but the other day when walking in the park, I saw a squirrel and said, "Hello, Mr. Squirrel". I know for me, my choice of Mr. over Mrs. was random, or at least ...
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2answers
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Is English the only Indo-European language without gendered nouns?

One of the quirks of English is that it does not have gendered nouns. Are there other languages in the Indo-European family that have also lost this feature?
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2answers
225 views

Do english-speaking people feel grammatical gender of words like “California” or “America” being feminine and “New York” being masculine?

Do english-speaking people feel grammatical gender of words like "California" or "America" being feminine and "New York" being masculine? Many of geographical names are obviously came from languages ...
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0answers
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How do I report the distribution of a variant among genders?

Just a quick question as I'm slightly confused If I want to report the use of e.g. [t] among males and females, in a graph, would the percentages be worked out as follows: males/ all tokens ...
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1answer
269 views

Does plural count as a grammatical gender?

Depending on the language, gender inflection can arise from natural gender, or even perhaps as a way of simplifying an extremely complex inflection system, but regardless, grammatical gender is a just ...
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2answers
203 views

Why are definite articles generally used for learning gendered languages?

I'll take spanish for my example, but it's also true for French an Italian. In order to remember the gender of nouns, they are almost always found with an article. It's often a definite article. I've ...
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1answer
247 views

How to convert masculine Old Norse dwarf names to feminine markers?

I'm wondering how to convert the Old Norse names from the "Catalog of Dwarfs" in the Völuspá into their feminine version? So that they look phonetically female. For example: Fíli > Fíla Kíli > Kíla ...
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0answers
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As of July 2016, is there any new improved research on predicting French grammatical gender?

Please advise me if there are better research methods; I only searched for Related Articles on Google Scholar to the only 2 recent papers that I know: Cited Articles of French gender assignment ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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
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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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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
790 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
359 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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3answers
474 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 ...
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1answer
161 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!
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3answers
839 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
538 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 ...
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1answer
240 views

Why do many French and Spanish noun cognates have opposing grammatical gender?

While most French/Spanish noun cognates share the same gender (both descending from the same vulgar latin root), there are many exceptions having opposing genders (e.g. la couleur / el color; la ...
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3answers
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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 ...