Skip to main content

Questions tagged [natural-gender]

For question about natural gender in language. Natural gender (contrasted with grammatical gender) is assigned to words according to the gender of the meant object (often a person or an animal, but there are also examples of other kind of objects requiring natural gender in some languages. This tag is not about the roles of female and male speakers, and their linguistic behaviour—the tag sociolinguistics is applicable here.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
5 votes
2 answers

Do any languages regularly derive their words for males from words for females?

Specifically, I am looking for languages that derive the equivalent word for males from the word for females using some sort of masculine affix. Also, to be clear, they should be words for people, not ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 538
18 votes
4 answers

Why do we use the names we do for grammatical genders?

Imagine if every French speaker suddenly agreed that nouns were one of 'animate' and 'inanimate', or 'chocolate' and 'strawberry', or 'A' and 'B' instead of 'masculine' and 'feminine'. The language ...
AML's user avatar
  • 291
3 votes
0 answers

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 ...
Franglishman24's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers

Does English have words that are clearly masculine or feminine that do not form pairs or are proper nouns?

While English does not have gender in the same way a Romance language does, it is still obviously able to define masculine and feminine concepts. But words that are clearly masculine or feminine in ...
Sodalite's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

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 ...
Udik's user avatar
  • 31
-4 votes
2 answers

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 ...
JavaApprentice's user avatar
4 votes
7 answers

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 ...
Araucaria - him's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers

Are there non-binary or gender-neutral cuneiform determinatives?

There seems to be a decent amount of historical evidence for categories of people in ancient Mesopotamia who were considered neither male nor female. However, the standard cuneiform determinatives I'...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.8k
5 votes
1 answer

Are there any examples of neopronouns for non-binary or third gender people being fully incorporated into a language's grammar?

Many non-binary people now request that new third person pronouns (neopronouns) be used to refer to them, for example xe or ze. These have not been widely used by English speakers yet, but it's still ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
  • 6,219
3 votes
1 answer

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. ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 316
3 votes
3 answers

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 ...
Bill's user avatar
  • 31
16 votes
3 answers

Are there languages without words for "father" or "mother" but only "parent"?

I'd like to know if there are languages where there aren't words for father and mother, but for parent, and how one would say [something like] this to their father in that language: where's mom? I ...
saviosg's user avatar
  • 412
1 vote
1 answer

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 ...
Travis H.'s user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

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 ...
Lostinfrance's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers

Specifics about the impact of natural gender on pronunciation?

What is the difference in pronunciation between women and men when speaking a language, as opposed to the difference in the voice of men and women? The context for the question arises from my looking ...
user avatar
8 votes
5 answers

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 ...
Flimzy's user avatar
  • 632
4 votes
1 answer

Is there a language with no gender for family relationships?

I know that English doesn't have specific gender for words like 'cousin' compared to other languages. While some languages seem to have a gender neutral form of he/she, are there some that only have ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer

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 ...
OmniOwl's user avatar
  • 149