This chapter introduces the major themes of the book. It begins with some basic definitions of gender, natural gender, and arbitrary gender, and then places the book in the context of previous research. The main proposals of the book are laid out: gender is on the nominalizing head n, natural gender is interpretable whereas arbitrary gender is uninterpretable, and these assumptions allow for a typology of two- to three-gender systems. The chapter also provides background on the frameworks adopted in the book (Minimalism and Distributed Morphology), and limitatations in scope are clearly identified (e.g. the book does not focus on the mechanisms of gender agreement). The chapter concludes with a preview of the remaining content of the book, organized as chapter summaries.
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