Grammatical Gender


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

grammatical gender

Modern English is largely an ungendered language. Whereas other languages might have masculine and feminine forms for nouns depending on the verbs, articles, or adjectives they are used with, English nouns by and large remain neutral. However, a personal pronoun can be inflected for gender to correspond to the gender of the person (and, in some cases, an animal) it represents.
Personal pronouns are only inflected for gender when they are in the third person and singular—first-person and second-person pronouns (singular or plural) and third-person plural pronouns remain gender neutral.
Continue reading...

Gender, Grammatical

 

(1) The traditional designation of an agreement class in languages where a system of agreement classes has developed from an originally semantic classification based on the distinction between animate and inanimate and/or between masculine and feminine. By “agreement class” is meant one of the groups into which substantives are divided on the basis of the way adjectives, verbs, and other words capable of agreeing with substantives are made to agree with substantives. The usual gender system comprises masculine gender (names of men and male animals, and names of some things), feminine gender (names of women and female animals, and names of some things), and neuter gender (generally only names of things). This system is represented in most of the ancient Indo-European languages, such as Latin, Ancient Greek, and Sanskrit, and in some modern languages, including German and certain Dravidian languages. For example, gender distinctions are observable in the Latin meus pater (“my father”), mea mater (“my mother”), and meum caput (“my head”).

There are also two-member gender systems. An opposition between masculine and feminine genders is found in the Semito-Hamitic languages and in many modern Indo-European languages, including the Baltic, Romance, and Celtic languages and some Indic and Iranian languages. A distinction between nonneuter and neuter is found in Hittite, modern Swedish, and other languages.

In addition to these basic gender distinctions, a “common” gender is also possible. Words of common gender require either masculine or feminine agreement, depending on the sex of the person named, as in the French un/une enfant (“a child”) or the Russian etot/eta skriiaga (“this miser”).

In Slavic and other languages, each of the traditionally distinguished genders corresponds—as in Latin—not merely to a specific agreement class but to groups within that class. In Russian, for example, there are animate and inanimate agreement classes within each gender. Some linguists apply the term “gender” to any agreement class.

(2) A category used to grammatically classify nouns and corresponding pronouns on the basis of gender opposition. Gender is also an inflectional grammatical category of adjectives and other words expressing agreement, a category formed by juxtasquoition of the words’ gender forms, as in the Latin meus, mea, meum or the Russian moi, moia, moe (“my”).

REFERENCES

Kuznetsov, P. S. O printsipakh izucheniia grammatiki. Moscow, 1961.
Kuryłowicz, J. “K voprosu o genezise grammaticheskogo roda.” In his book Ocherki po lingvistike. Moscow, 1962.
Zalizniak, A. A. Russkoe imennoe slovoizmenenie. Moscow, 1967.

A. A. ZALIZNIAK

References in periodicals archive ?
seemingly effortless and flawless acquisition of grammatical gender by native speakers of French' (2007, p.
In languages with overtly expressed grammatical gender, the gender of place names must also be listed, for their appropriate use.
Its focus on the intersection of grammatical gender with social gender, and its conscious choice of appropriate gendered language regarding God allows it to be faithful as to how the ancients heard these words millennia ago.
Such terms retain the grammatical gender assigned to them regardless of sex.
4/2 The grammatical gender of God, pagan deities, and angels according to the original texts must not be changed insofar as this is possible in the receptor language.
Based on the fact that Spanish words have a grammatical gender - words ending in "o" are typically masculine and in "a" are typically feminine - the researchers showed that the sex of a speaker affected how fast and accurately listeners could identify a list of Spanish words as masculine or feminine.
The topics include tracing emotions in Russian vowels, bi-nominative sentences in Russian, the effect of grammatical gender in Russian spoken-word recognition, the interlanguage system of low-proficiency heritage Russian speakers as a basis for fast language (re)building, cultural identities among Russian-speaking immigrants of the third and fourth wave and their effects on language attitudes, and effects of language development and structure of Canadian Doukhobor internal and external migrations.
Palmaitis, a question may arise about Uralic languages in which the category of grammatical gender is lacking.
grammatical gender agreement [was] obligatory" (Baron 1971: 120).
Of course, some aspects of any language disorder must logically be language-specific: for example, the noun/adjective gender agreement difficulties often seen in Romance languages cannot occur in languages which have neither grammatical gender nor agreement.
64--after discussing the relation of grammatical gender and [bar{a}]krti--Pata[tilde{n}]jali refers to an earlier statement on the relation of grammatical gender and j[bar{a}]ti.
1987 Garka A Ipika: Masculine and Feminine Grammatical Gender in Kala Lagaw Ya, Australian Journal of Linguistics 7(2), 189-201.