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Gender Maarten Mous Gender Maarten Mous

Semantic aspects of gender • Male / Female Agentives (but) • Male / Female Semantic aspects of gender • Male / Female Agentives (but) • Male / Female singulatives of animals/people

Not semantically based • examples of “wrong” gender • m/f in multiple reference • Not semantically based • examples of “wrong” gender • m/f in multiple reference • various values for gender for similar concepts (e. g. gourds)

Semantic effects • size • endearment / pejoration • significance Semantic effects • size • endearment / pejoration • significance

Meaning of shift to feminine • diminutive • endearment / pejoration • insignificant Meaning of shift to feminine • diminutive • endearment / pejoration • insignificant

Meaning of shift to feminine Similar functions in neighbouring Omotic, Semitic of Ethiopia, including Meaning of shift to feminine Similar functions in neighbouring Omotic, Semitic of Ethiopia, including Amharic.

Example of Western Oromo Clamons (1992: 69) (1) a small number of lexically specified Example of Western Oromo Clamons (1992: 69) (1) a small number of lexically specified words have invariant gender (m) or (f); (2) the rest of the words are variable in gender; (3) if the referent is sexed, its sex will determine its gender;

Example of Western Oromo (4) if the referent is not sexed, unmarked gender is Example of Western Oromo (4) if the referent is not sexed, unmarked gender is partly determined by the quality of the final vowel: (5) nouns ending in non-low vowels are (f), those ending in low vowels or consonant are (m) (6) but the other gender may be used expressively; (7) a number of the nouns in the remaining category have an unmarked gender that is not predictable on the basis of formal properties and have to be lexically specified (8) still these too may shift in gender for expressive purposes.

The meaning of (p) • • In some languages all (p) nouns are m. The meaning of (p) • • In some languages all (p) nouns are m. r. ; all m. r. nouns are (p). Or (p) is semantically predictable: Agaw, Dullay. Oromo verb agreement of m. r. nouns is (p) or (f); (f) for collective Option of semantic agreement of (p) on the verb for (m/f) nouns in some languages (Alagwa, partly Somali) (p) agreement on the verb for the resolution of gender conflict in coordinated subject noun phrase

The meaning of (p): Underived (p) nouns (Alagwa) • • Plural words daaqaay (p) The meaning of (p): Underived (p) nouns (Alagwa) • • Plural words daaqaay (p) ‘children’ tikay (p) ‘women, wives’ yawa (p) ‘cattle’ aaraa (p) ‘goats’ baaluu (p) ‘days’ Liquids and collectives ilba (p) ‘milk’ mintsartú (p) ‘fresh (of milk)’ ma'ay (p) ‘water’ qubu (p) ‘hair’ Time xwa'i (p) ‘evening’ amasi (p) ‘night’ aansí (p) ‘former times’ piray (p) ‘night till dawn’ matlatlee (p) ‘morning’ Geographical concepts tsiindo (p) ‘west’ aluu (p) ‘behind’ pahaa (p) ‘valley’ rawa (p) ‘top, sky’ tsee/aa (p) ‘savanna, grassland’

The meaning of (p): Underived (p) nouns (Alagwa) The rest: • fayee (p) ‘marriage The meaning of (p): Underived (p) nouns (Alagwa) The rest: • fayee (p) ‘marriage settlement, bride price’ • kwa/u (p) ‘house of many poles (? )’ • neetla (p) ‘devil’ • tse/era (p) ‘healed wound’ • umpumáy (p) ‘small-pox’

Bantu noun class system Establishment/definition Bantu noun class system Establishment/definition

Main characteristics pervasive agreement overt singular / plural pairing few roots in multiple classes Main characteristics pervasive agreement overt singular / plural pairing few roots in multiple classes class membership is reconstructable

Semantic aspects semantic agreement with human/animate derivation within the noun class system association in Semantic aspects semantic agreement with human/animate derivation within the noun class system association in form / meaning

Semantic aspects: derivation Shift to class n for diminutive, to class m for augmentative Semantic aspects: derivation Shift to class n for diminutive, to class m for augmentative Shift to class 14 for abstract concepts Other semantic distribution: land/language/people; fruit/tree Positioning into class r for verbal noun Shift to (empty) class 16, 17, 18 for concepts of location Shift to other class for plural

Semantic aspects: what remains Characterisation of tendencies: long/thin in 11 tree like things in Semantic aspects: what remains Characterisation of tendencies: long/thin in 11 tree like things in 7 liquids in 6 round in 5 These are reminiscent of functions of numeral classifiers. Synchronic value difficult to determine.