Grammatical gender

In linguistics, a grammatical gender system is a specific form of a noun class system, where nouns are assigned to gender categories that are often not related to the real-world qualities of the entities denoted by those nouns. In languages with grammatical gender, most or all nouns inherently carry one value of the grammatical category called gender;[1] the values present in a given language (of which there are usually two or three) are called the genders of that language.

Whereas some authors use the term "grammatical gender" as a synonym of "noun class", others use different definitions for each; many authors prefer "noun classes" when none of the inflections in a language relate to sex or gender. According to one estimate, gender is used in approximately half of the world's languages.[2] According to one definition: "Genders are classes of nouns reflected in the behavior of associated words."[3][4][5]

  1. ^ There are different views whether or not pluralia tantum always have a gender:
    • Wilfried Kürschner (Grammatisches Kompendium, 6. edition, 2008, p. 121) for example states that German pluralia tantum do not have a gender.
    • The Duden (Duden Grammatik, 8. edition, p. 152f.) for example states that all German pluralia tantum have a gender, but it can not be determined.
  2. ^ "WALS Online - Chapter Number of Genders". Retrieved 2022-08-01.
  3. ^ Hockett, Charles (1958). A course in modern linguistics (PDF). Macmillan Publishers. p. 231.
  4. ^ Corbett 1991, p. 4.
  5. ^ Jackson, Steven B. "Masculine or Feminine? (And Why It Matters)". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2 July 2015.