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The Morphosyntax of Gender$
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Ruth Kramer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679935

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679935.001.0001

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Case study 3: Three-gender languages

Case study 3: Three-gender languages

Chapter:
(p.116) 7 Case study 3: Three-gender languages
Source:
The Morphosyntax of Gender
Author(s):

Ruth Kramer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679935.003.0007

This chapter continues to investigate the predictions of the morphosyntactic analysis of gender developed in Chapter 3, and in this chapter the predictions are extended to three-gender languages. The first three-gender language examined is Mangarayi (Australian, non-Pama-Nyungan); it has only interpretable gender features on n and is the three-gender counterpart of Dieri, Zayse, and Zargulla from Chapter 5. The analysis predicts the existence of a three-gender language that contains a n with an uninterpretable gender feature, and this is confirmed via the language Wari’ (Chapacuran). It is also predicted that there will be a three-gender language with two ns with uninterpretable features, and such a system is attested in Lavukaleve (Papuan). The analysis also predicts that neuter will always be the default gender in a three-gender language; this prediction is largely borne out. The chapter closes with an excursus addressing some counterexamples and considering data from other three-gender languages.

Keywords:   gender, morphology, syntax, natural gender, interpretability, default gender, Mangarayi, Wari’, Lavukaleve

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