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The evolving complexity of gender agreement systems
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2499-8800
2019 (English)In: Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity: Volume II: World-wide comparative studies / [ed] Francesca Di Garbo, Bruno Olsson, Bernhard Wälchli, Berlin: Language Science Press, 2019, p. 15-60Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper proposes to integrate the diachronic dimension to the typological study of gender complexity, and focuses on the morphosyntactic encoding of gender distinctions via agreement patterns. After investigating the processes of language change that foster the reduction, loss, expansion and emergence of gender agreement in a sample of fifteen sets of closely related languages (N= 36 languages), we discuss how gender agreement systems in decline and on the rise pattern in terms of complexity. We show that declining and emerging gender agreement systems may exhibit increase or decrease in complexity and discuss how this relates to the fact that they represent transitional stages between absence of gender and full-fledged gender systems. In our analysis, we make use of typological implicational hierarchies in the domain of agreement as a tool to account for diachronic variation and for the patterns of simplification/complexification in the agreement systems of the sampled languages.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin: Language Science Press, 2019. p. 15-60
Series
Studies in Diversity Linguistics, E-ISSN 2363-5568 ; 27
Keywords [en]
agreement hierarchy, agreement redistribution, gender emergence, gender expansion, gender loss, gender reduction, morphophonological erosion, complexification, simplification
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175434DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3462778ISBN: 978-3-96110-181-8 (print)ISBN: 978-3-96110-180-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175434DiVA, id: diva2:1365951
Available from: 2019-10-26 Created: 2019-10-26 Last updated: 2019-11-01Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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