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The dynamics of gender complexity
Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för lingvistik, Avdelningen för allmän språkvetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-0256-6855
Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för lingvistik, Avdelningen för allmän språkvetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-2499-8800
2019 (engelsk)Inngår i: Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity: Volume II: World-wide comparative studies / [ed] Francesca Di Garbo, Bruno Olsson, Bernhard Wälchli, Berlin: Language Science Press, 2019, s. 201-364Kapittel i bok, del av antologi (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter we view grammatical gender as a category type that emerges, evolvesand disappears in languages as a result of diachronic processes and whose complex-ity grows and diminishes through time (§1–§2). Traditional approaches to gram-matical gender focus on two properties that already presuppose a high degree ofmaturity of gender systems: noun classes and agreement. Here we conceive of gen-der rather as a category type with a semantic core of animacy and/or sex reflectingclasses of referents, which have a propensity to turn into classes of noun lexemes.When growing and retracting, gender characteristically follows the animacy or in-dividuation hierarchy. However, this hierarchical patterning breaks down whenanimacy leaks into the inanimate domain led astray by many different associativepathways, which is why lexical organization according to noun classes has to beinvoked to maintain some sort of order (§3). Gender manifests itself in the form ofmarking on noun-associated words, often within the local domain of noun phrases.Here we put gender marking into the wider context of nominal morphology (non-lexical markers within the noun phrase), which often originate in independent usein headless noun phrases and are extended to headed noun phrases only in a sub-sequent development (§4). As more mature manifestations of gender get organizedin the form of noun classes, they typically follow certain pathways of develop-ment that can be subsumed under the formula “From X to Y” (§5–§6). Agreementis fuzzy as its prototypical non-noun targets gradually develop by way of decate-gorialization from nouns, and controllers and targets are not always simple words,but can be complex (consist of syntactic formal groups) and controllers can be en-tirely contextual (§7). Gender should not be considered in isolation as it is – moreoften than not – parasitic on other grammatical category types, notably number,case, and person, with which it cumulates and which contribute to its high degreeof complexity (§8). Number is particularly tightly intertwined with gender in plu-ralia tantum and other phenomena related to lexical plurality (§9). As gender isorganized in form of systems, its diachronic evolution cannot be captured in termsof individual diachronic processes. When gender systems evolve, there is virtuallyalways co-evolution of connected events. Hence the study of system evolution isindispensable for understanding the complexity of gender (§10). However, the evo-lution of gender also displays characteristic areal and genealogical patterns and issensitive to external factors of language ecology (§11).

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Berlin: Language Science Press, 2019. s. 201-364
Serie
Studies in Diversity Linguistics, E-ISSN 2363-5568 ; 27
Emneord [en]
gender, complexity, animacy, historical linguistics, agreement, number, pluralia tantum, system emergence, areal linguistics, language ecology
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
lingvistik
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175426DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3462784ISBN: 978-3-96110-181-8 (tryckt)ISBN: 978-3-96110-180-1 (digital)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175426DiVA, id: diva2:1365913
Merknad

Tilgjengelig fra: 2019-10-25 Laget: 2019-10-25 Sist oppdatert: 2019-11-01bibliografisk kontrollert

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