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Gender and Noun Classification$
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Éric Mathieu, Myriam Dali, and Gita Zareikar

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198828105

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198828105.001.0001

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The double life of gender and its structural consequences

The double life of gender and its structural consequences

A case study from Standard Italian

Chapter:
(p.119) 6 The double life of gender and its structural consequences
Source:
Gender and Noun Classification
Author(s):

Ivona Kučerová

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198828105.003.0006

Chapter 6 investigates variation in the domain of gender in Italian. The Standard Italian nominal system morphologically marks two distinct genders, three distinct nominal classes (idiosyncratic nominal endings), and two numbers, a combination which lends itself to a theoretical investigation of complex gender interactions. Crucially, Italian nominal inflection also distinguishes between grammatical, i.e. idiosyncratic, and natural, i.e. context-dependent, gender. The chapter argues that while some nouns come with gender determined from the lexicon, others may get their gender valued only via the context. Such a contextual valuation may arise only at the phase level, with D being the locus of such a valuation. Evidence comes from agreement and derivational morphology.

Keywords:   gender, Italian, grammatical gender, context-dependent gender, valuation

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