Questions tagged [noun-classes]

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3 answers

What's the difference between nominative and absolutive case?

Why do both these cases need to exist? They are both subjects
theonlygusti's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers

Do any languages, or is it linguistically possible, to compound multiple noun classes on a single noun at the same time?

As an example, take noun classes similar to Swahili or Navajo. In Swahili each noun belongs to one class (accepting the same noun might change class for pluralisation). In Navajo, some classes are ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer

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 ...
Reine Abstraktion's user avatar
20 votes
3 answers

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 ...
theonlygusti's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers

Which (australian aboriginal?) language classifies nouns in "upright" things and "lying" things?

I'm quite sure I remember that in one class, while we were talking about aboriginal languages, the professor said that one language or more languages, classify nouns in the two categories from the ...
JpegDot's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Richard Nilsen's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer

Is there a term for "lexeme-describing grammatical feature"?

I've heard terms like grammatical category and grammatical feature being used for inflectional properties such as number, person, tense, mood, and so on. Gender is commonly included in this list too, ...
Gustaf Liljegren's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers

Proper vs. common nouns: Are there more differences, esp. in grammar, than capital letter and simpler plural?

Proper nouns in English have a capital starting letter and the plural is simpler (e.g. -y ending gets -ys instead of -ies). Are there any other differences? Especially when analysing/parsing the ...
DooDo's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
3 answers

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?
Miss Lc's user avatar
  • 13
5 votes
1 answer

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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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16 votes
5 answers

Do any Indo European languages reflect noun class types other than gender?

In the comments of another question about animate as noun gender in some Slavic languages an interesting point was raised. Many if not most Indo European languages exhibit grammatical gender for ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer

How did Miskito ligatures develop?

I'm interested in the use of "ligatures", but I'm most interested in the way the ligatures and the possessives can use a combined infix-suffix. I don't understand how such a mixed system ...
Anthony Miles's user avatar