Grammatical Gender

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  • Grammatical gender is a system found in many languages. It assigns all nouns (including inanimate ones) to noun classes, marking neighboring words for agreement. Languages differ in the number of gender classes and in the range of elements that agree in gender with the noun. In Hebrew, for example, verbs and adjectives are marked for gender, while in Spanish and French, articles also have to agree in gender with the nouns they precede (e.g., la pelota [the—feminine, ball—feminine] versus el vaso [the—masculine, glass—masculine]). Gender assignment affects agreement between the noun and all the elements that are syntactically related to it, resulting in agreement patterns that can be local (between articles and nouns) or nonlocal (between a noun and a pronoun that refers to it). In ...

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