This article examines shared motifs in the history of the study of grammatical gender in North American Indian and Indo-European languages. Specifically, I investigate the degree of semantic and cultural motivation attributed to gender in Algonquian languages, and present analogies with accounts of gender in Indo-European. The presence of exceptions within animate gender in Algonquian has led to conflicting interpretations: while some focused on the arbitrary nature of the categorization, others regarded them as culturally based. Algonquian languages provide an example of how claims that have traditionally been made about Indo-European gender, particularly its supposed semantic arbitrariness, have been extended to languages apparently less suited for the purpose.
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Cited by 6 other publications
2008. Proto-Indo-European Ergativity… Still to be Discussed. Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 44:4
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