Questions tagged [gender]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1 vote
0 answers
37 views

Why do women's forms of address and honorifics vary more than men's forms of address and honorifics?

What I mean is in English, the form of address used for men we are not familiar with is "sir", whatever their age (technically, "master" is sometimes used for males under 25 years ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
112 views

Does English have animate/inanimate distinction?

I know we have the "'S" genitive and the "X of Y" but I don't exactly understand the rules of using these even as a native English speaker and I'm unsure if English makes other ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
94 views

Do English words have a sort of de-facto inherrent gender (or gender stereotype) to them?

I apologize in advance if this question goes all over the place, I was just randomly thinking today about gender in the English language. One thing in English that I find is overlooked is gender in ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
132 views

Western European languages tend to have fewer genders and simpler case systems than Eastern European ones, is this due to contact?

You can draw a relatively consistent line through Europe, to the west of which, Indo-European languages mostly have one or two genders and nouns don't inflect for case, and to the east of which, ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
110 views

Software internationalisation - displaying gendered adjectives

I'm currently working on an internationalisation project for a large web application - initially we're just implementing French but more languages will follow in time. One of the issues we've come ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
266 views

What is the function of a gender distinction in nouns?

In German and some other languages, I understand there are different forms of the definite article 'the' depending on the gender of the noun. Also personal pronouns have different forms depending on ...
user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
103 views

How did Old Norse influence Old English to lose genders and cases?

Wikipedia says that "Norse influence is ... considered to have stimulated and accelerated the morphological simplification found in Middle English, such as the loss of grammatical gender and ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
133 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 ...
user avatar
  • 14.2k
4 votes
1 answer
600 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,...
user avatar
20 votes
3 answers
6k views

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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
127 views

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 ...
user avatar
29 votes
2 answers
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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
118 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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
230 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 ...
user avatar
22 votes
3 answers
6k views

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 ...
user avatar
29 votes
10 answers
6k views

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".
user avatar
  • 417
5 votes
0 answers
439 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 151
1 vote
1 answer
325 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 ...
user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
0 answers
81 views

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 (...
user avatar
-4 votes
2 answers
127 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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
202 views

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/...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
200 views

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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
319 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.: ...
user avatar
  • 1,189
0 votes
0 answers
46 views

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-...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
284 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 ...
user avatar
  • 628
4 votes
6 answers
577 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 ...
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
739 views

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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why has the neuter gender disappeared from almost all the modern Romance languages?

Why has the neuter gender disappeared from almost all the modern Romance languages? It was completely common in Latin. And when exactly did this happen? Did it happen in Latin itself, or only after ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
74 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,067
3 votes
1 answer
170 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. ...
user avatar
  • 268
16 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 341
1 vote
0 answers
136 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#...
user avatar
  • 317
0 votes
2 answers
444 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
640 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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
83 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 ...
user avatar
  • 2,145
4 votes
4 answers
957 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 "...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
224 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 ...
user avatar
  • 31
5 votes
2 answers
4k 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?
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
240 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
35 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 ...
user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
1 answer
303 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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
225 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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
288 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
65 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
164 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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
8k 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 131
10 votes
3 answers
670 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
859 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
398 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?
user avatar
  • 163