10. What is Grammatical Gender?

The 5-Minute Linguist - Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages Third Edition - Caroline Myrick

Caroline Myrick [+-]
Independent scholar
Caroline Myrick holds a PhD from the Department of Sociology at North Carolina State University, where she specialized in sociolinguistics and social inequality. She has numerous publications based on the sociolinguistic fieldwork she carried out on the Caribbean island of Saba. Recently, she helped publish the first Saban English dictionary (NCLLP, 2016). Caroline has worked with Walt Wolfram on multiple book projects, including Talkin’ Tar Heel (UNC Press, 2016) and American English (Wiley, third edition 2017).

Description

Languages have ‘natural gender’ if animate males are assigned the masculine, animate females the feminine, and inanimate objects are assigned the neuter gender. Languages have ‘formal gender’ if they assign a gender to nouns arbitrarily. But is formal gender completely arbitrary? Some argue that the gendering of nouns has cognitive implications for speakers.

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Citation

Myrick, Caroline. 10. What is Grammatical Gender?. The 5-Minute Linguist - Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages Third Edition. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Jul 2019. ISBN 9781781798553. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=38129. Date accessed: 23 May 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38129. Jul 2019

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