Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange
Join us in building a kind, collaborative learning community via our updated Code of Conduct.

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

12
votes
5answers
3k views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
81 views

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#...
0
votes
2answers
157 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Which linguistic data should I use for a sociolinguistic p. on traditional and constructivist approach on gender identity(pop culture, corpus)?

We had a presentation on monday. There were two older students to give us advice. The girl always asked to speak before she did and the boy just gave his commentary right away. There are many ...
1
vote
0answers
53 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
249 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 "...
3
votes
3answers
127 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
334 views

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?
1
vote
2answers
149 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
159 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
153 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
59 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
80 views

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
votes
2answers
414 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
663 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
253 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
177 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?
1
vote
2answers
214 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
92 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!
6
votes
3answers
362 views

Why do languages have gendered nouns?

Why do languages have gendered nouns? What are the problems that are solved by having gendered nouns?
13
votes
2answers
393 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
145 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
949 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
183 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
votes
2answers
643 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
313 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 "...
5
votes
4answers
5k 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
112 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
votes
3answers
434 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
120 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
287 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?
4
votes
2answers
305 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 ...
21
votes
15answers
9k 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
vote
1answer
155 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
votes
0answers
40 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
votes
1answer
667 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
votes
2answers
454 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 ...
20
votes
7answers
2k 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/...
23
votes
8answers
3k 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
604 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
138 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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,...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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
426 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 ...
21
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
922 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 ...