18 Facts About Grammatical gender


In linguistics, grammatical gender system is a specific form of noun class system, where nouns are assigned with gender categories that are often not related to their real-world qualities.

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Languages with grammatical gender usually have two to four different genders, but some are attested with up to 20.

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Common Grammatical gender divisions include masculine and feminine; masculine, feminine, and neuter; or animate and inanimate.

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Some Grammatical gender contrasts are referred to as classes; for some examples, see Noun class.

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Grammatical gender can be realized as inflection and can be conditioned by other types of inflection, especially number inflection, where the singular-plural contrast can interact with gender inflection.

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In Welsh, Grammatical gender marking is mostly lost on nouns; however, Welsh has initial mutation, where the first consonant of a word changes into another in certain conditions.

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Additionally, in many languages, Grammatical gender is often closely correlated with the basic unmodified form of the noun, and sometimes a noun can be modified to produce masculine and feminine words of similar meaning.

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In some languages the Grammatical gender is distinguished only in singular number but not in plural.

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Natural Grammatical gender of a noun, pronoun or noun phrase is a Grammatical gender to which it would be expected to belong based on relevant attributes of its referent.

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However, a switch to the natural Grammatical gender is never possible with articles and attributive pronouns or adjectives.

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In some languages, Grammatical gender is determined by strictly semantic criteria, but in other languages, semantic criteria only partially determine Grammatical gender.

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In such cases, one says that the feminine Grammatical gender is semantically marked, whereas the masculine Grammatical gender is unmarked.

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In some languages, any Grammatical gender markers have been so eroded over time that they are no longer recognizable.

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Such Grammatical gender shifts are sometimes correlated with meaning shifts, and sometimes yield doublets with no difference in meaning.

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Many of the words where it is possible to choose Grammatical gender are inanimate objects that one might suspect would be conjugated with the neuter Grammatical gender.

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Grammatical gender is a common phenomenon in the world's languages.

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Conversely, grammatical gender is usually absent from the Koreanic, Japonic, Tungusic, Turkic, Mongolic, Austronesian, Sino-Tibetan, Uralic and most Native American language families.

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The animate–inanimate opposition for the masculine Grammatical gender applies in the singular, and the personal–impersonal opposition, which classes animals along with inanimate objects, applies in the plural.

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