Two syntactic positions of grammatical gender

Main Article Content

Olga Steriopolo


The paper proposes some formal and functional criteria for distinguishing between two different syntactic positions of grammatical gender: determiner gender (D-gender) and nominal gender (n-gender). Focusing on D-gender and how it differs from n-gender, this work supports previous analyses of gender as a heterogeneous category that occupies different positions in the syntactic tree. Data are presented from 27 languages, many of which are either critically endangered or already extinct.1


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Steriopolo, O. (2018). Two syntactic positions of grammatical gender. Yearbook of the Poznań Linguistic Meeting, 4(1), 125-151.


  1. Acquaviva, P. 2018. Categorization as noun construction: Gender, number, and entity types. In: Mathieu, É., M. Dali and G. Zareikar (eds.), Gender and noun classification. Oxford: Oxford Linguistics. 41–66.
  2. Acquaviva, Paolo 2009: Roots and lexicality in distributed morphology. In: Galani, A., D. Redinger and N. Yeo (eds.), York Papers in Linguistics 2(10): York-Essex Morphology Meeting. 1–21.
  3. Aikhenvald, A. 2000. Classifiers: A typology of noun categorization devices. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  4. Aikhenvald, A. 2008. The Manambu language of East Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  5. Aikhenvald, A. 2012. Round women and long men: Shape, size, and the meanings of gender in New Guinea and beyond. Anthropological Linguistics 54(1). 33–86.
  6. Aikhenvald, A. 2016. How gender shapes the world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  7. Alexiadou, A. 2004. Inflection class, gender, and DP internal structure exploration. In: Müller, G., L. Gunkel and G. Zifonun (eds.), Nominal inflection. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 21–50.
  8. Amha, A. 2001. The Maale language. Leiden: Research School of Asian, African, and American Studies.
  9. Armoskaite, S. and M. Wiltschko. 2012: There are many ways to be gendered. In: Caxaj, P. (ed.), Proceedings of the 2012 Annual Conference of the Canadian Linguistic Association. 1–14.
  10. Clamons, R. 1995. How recent contact erased ancient traces in the gender systems of the Oromo dialects. Proceedings of the Twenty-First Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. 389–400.
  11. Corbett, G. 1991. Gender. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  12. Corbett, G. and S. Fedden. 2016: Canonical gender. Journal of Linguistics 52. 495–531.
  13. di Garbo, F. 2013. Evaluative morphology and noun classification: A cross-linguistic study of Africa. SKASE Journal of Theoretical Linguistics 10(1). 114–136.
  14. Dixon, R.M.W. 1982. Where have all the adjectives gone?And other essays in semantics and syntax. Berlin: De Gruyter.
  15. Doleschal, U. and S. Schmid. 2001. Doing gender in Russian: Structure and perspective. In: Hellinger, M. and H. Bußmann (eds.), Gender across languages: The linguistic representation of women and men. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 253–282.
  16. Donohue, M. 2001. Animacy, class and gender in Burmeso. In: Pawley, A., M. Ross and D. Tryon (eds.), The boy from Bundaberg: Studies in Melanesian linguistics in honour of Tom Dutton. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. 97–115.
  17. Dunn, M. 2014. Gender determined dialect variation. In: Corbett, G.G. (ed.), The expression of gender. Berlin: De Gruyter. 39–68.
  18. Edenmyr, N. 2004. The semantics of Hadza gender assignment: A few notes from the field. Africa & Asia 4. 3–19.
  19. Fassi Fehri, A. 2015. The semantic diversity of Arabic gender. Brill’s Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics 8(1). 154–199.
  20. Fedden, S. 2011. A grammar of Mian. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
  21. Fedden, S. and G.G. Corbett. 2017. Gender and classifiers in concurrent systems: Refining the typology of nominal classification. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics 2(1). 1–47.
  22. Ferrari, F. 2005. A syntactic analysis of the nominal systems of Italian and Luganda: How nouns can be formed in the syntax. (PhD dissertation, New York University.)
  23. Fillmore, C.J. 1997 [1971]. Lectures on deixis. Stanford: CSLI Publications.
  24. Foley, W. 2000. The languages of New Guinea. Annual Review of Anthropology 29. 357–404.
  25. Fortune, G. 1955. An analytical grammar of Shona. London: Longman, Green and Co.
  26. Gerdts, D. 2013. The purview effect: Feminine gender on inanimates in Halkomelem Salish. In: Cathcart, C., I.-H. Chen, G. Finley, S. Kang, C.S. Sandy and E. Stick-les (eds.), Proceedings of the Thirty-Seventh Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. Berkeley: Berkeley Linguistics Society. 417–426.
  27. Goddard, I. 2002. Grammatical gender in Algonquian. In: Wolfart, H.C. (ed.), Papers of the Thirty-Third Algonquian Conference. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba. 195–231.
  28. Grinevald, C. 2000. A morphosyntactic typology of classifiers. In: Senft, G. (ed.), Systems of nominal classification. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 50–88.
  29. Haas, M.R. 1944. Men’s and women’s speech in Koasati. Language 20. 142–149.
  30. Haviland, J. 1979. How to talk to your brother-in-law in Guugu-Yimidhirr. In: Shopen, T. (ed.), Languages and their speakers. Cambridge, MA: Winthrop. 160–239.
  31. Heath, J. 1978. Ngandi Grammar, texts and dictionary. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
  32. Heine, B. 1982. African noun class systems. In: Seiler, H. and C. Lehmann (eds.), Apprehension: Das sprachliche Erfassen von Gegenständen (vol. 1). Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. 189–216.
  33. Kihm, A. 2005. Noun class, gender, and the lexicon-syntax-morphology interfaces: A comparative study of Niger-Congo and Romance languages. In: Cinque, G. and R.S. Kayne (eds.), The Oxford handbook of comparative syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 459–512.
  34. Körtvélyessy, L. 2012. Evaluative morphology from cross-linguistic perspective. (PhD dissertation, University of Košice.)
  35. Kramer, R. 2012. Gender in Amharic: A morphosyntactic approach to natural and grammatical gender. Language Sciences 43. 593–634.
  36. Lecarme, J. 2002. Gender ‘polarity’: Theoretical aspects of Somali nominal morphology. In: Boucher, P. and M. Plénat (eds.), Many morphologies. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. 109–141.
  37. Lowenstamm, J. 2008. On little n, root, and types of nouns. In: Hartmann, J., V. Hegedus and H. van Riemsdjik (eds.), The sounds of silence: Empty elements in syntax and phonology. Amsterdam: Elsevier. 105–144.
  38. Matushansky, O. 2013. Gender confusion. In: Lai-Shen Cheng, L. and N. Corver (eds.), Diagnosing syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 271–294.
  39. Osborne, C.R. 1974. The Tiwi language: Grammar, myths, and dictionary of the Tiwi Language spoken on Melville and Bathurst Islands, Northern Australia. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
  40. Payne, D.L. 1998. Maasai gender in typological perspective. Studies in African Linguistics 27(2). 159–175.
  41. Pesetsky, D. 1995. Zero syntax: Experiencers and cascades. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  42. Pesetsky, D. 2013. What is to be done? Paper presented at the LSA Annual Meeting, January 4.
  43. Pet, W.J.A. 2011. A grammar sketch and lexicon of Arawak (Lokono Dian). SIL E-Books, vol. 30. SIL International.
  44. Seifart, F. 2010. Nominal classification. Language & Linguistics Compass 4(8). 719–736.
  45. Steriopolo, O. 2016. Expressives across languages: Form/function correlation. Annual Review of Linguistics 2. 293–324.
  46. Steriopolo, O. 2017. Nominalizing evaluative suffixes in Russian: The interaction of declension class, gender, and animacy. Poljarnyj vestnik: Norwegian Journal of Slavic Studies 20. 18–44.
  47. Steriopolo, O. 2018a: Morphosyntax of gender in Russian sex-differentiable nouns. Journal of Slavic Linguistics 26(2). 307–335.
  48. Steriopolo, O. 2018b: Mixed gender agreement in the case of Russian hybrid nouns. Questions and Answers in Linguistics 5(1). 1–15.
  49. Steriopolo, O. and M. Wiltschko. 2010: Distributed gender hypothesis. In: G. Zybatow, P. Dudchuk, S. Minor, E. Pshehotskaya (eds.) 2010: Formal Studies in Slavic Linguistics. New York: Peter Lang, 155–172.
  50. Stump, G. 1993a. How peculiar is evaluative morphology? Journal of Linguistics 29, 1–36.
  51. Stump, G. 1993b. Reconstructing morphology: The case of Bantu prefixation. Linguistic Analysis 23, 169–204.
  52. Sumbuk, K.M. 1999: Morphosyntax of Sare. (PhD dissertation, University of Waikato.
  53. Svenonius, P. 2008. The position of adjectives and other phrasal modifiers in the decomposition of DP. In: McNally, L. and C. Kennedy (eds.), Adjectives and adverbs: Syntax, semantics, and discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 16–42.
  54. Vail, L. 1974. The noun classes of Ndali. Journal of African Languages 11(3). 21–47.