Questions tagged [markedness]

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5
votes
3answers
277 views

Is there any language where the past tense is the base form of a verb?

The fictional language Flaidish has this feature. But I recently found out about a natural language (Mixtec) where the present isn't the base form of a verb, its the future tense. I found this ...
0
votes
1answer
585 views

How can a syllable be marked?

I understand how a word can be marked, for example the word walks is marked with the suffix -s. But what is meant by marked and unmarked syllables ? (Not marked or unmarked words) Can you give ...
1
vote
2answers
192 views

Definiteness as the default interpretation of NPs

In which languages do non-proper NPs have a default unmarked interpretation as definite, rather than indefinite? In English, the default interpreration of plural and uncountable NPs is normally ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
378 views

Can present tense be more marked?

Are there languages that overtly mark present tense, rather than future/past? In other words, is the present ever more marked? There doesn't seem to be a way to search for it in WALS, unfortunately.
2
votes
2answers
167 views

What are the various rules to deal with “markedness” if the speaker doesn't know?

I mean obligatorily marking a word for number, gender, animacy, direction etc, I don't actually know what I'm asking about. For example, in English, we have that awkward situation where we don't know ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Are there marked/“hard” phonemes that are acquired very late or never by a substantial number of speakers?

Marked phonemes are those that require more effort during articulation or are "harder" to articulate. For example, the interdental fricatives /θ/ and /ð/ are considered to be marked. Marked phonemes ...
9
votes
2answers
369 views

Which indigenous languages have marked Ancestral/Mythological Past in grammars?

I have found a mention on such a system among some South American native languages in Adam Jacot de Boinod's book I Never Knew There's A Word For It. Non-academic reading, which doesn't make it less ...
6
votes
2answers
353 views

Is it okay that Ergative case be unmarked?

I found a language of Celebes island in Indonesia, its name is Mongondow (mog). It has a Phillipine's Alignment morphosyntactic which it has combination of Accusative and Ergative languages. The word ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do marked terms exist at all?

According to the definition of markedness, unmarked terms can be consider the "norm". So if there is something more "normal" about using unmarked terms, why would a language have marked terms at all? ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

What is the origin of the dominance of unmarked terms?

The definition of markedness, says that unmarked terms are dominant over marked terms. In this context, is dominance assumed to stem from biological or cultural constraints (like some sounds are ...
13
votes
5answers
13k views

What is markedness?

I am confused about the meaning of markedness. From the Wikipedia page I read: The dominant term is known as the 'unmarked' term and the other, secondary one is the 'marked' term. In other words, ...