Edited by Michael T. Putnam
[Studies in Language Companion Series 123] 2011
► pp. 151–162
Gender assignment of English loanwords in Pennsylvania German
Is there a feminine tendency?
Previous investigations have reported a feminine tendency in the assignment of grammatical gender for English loanwords in Pennsylvania German as well as in other German Sprachinseln languages located in Anglophone areas (e.g. Reed 1942). This study investigates whether or not there is a feminine tendency in Pennsylvania German using a corpus based on the Comprehensive Pennsylvania German Dictionary. A statistical analysis reveals no evidence of a feminine tendency in Pennsylvania German. Monomorphemic English loanwords and monomorphemic native nouns in Pennsylvania German are significantly more likely to be assigned masculine gender than monomorphemic nouns in Standard German. Unlike Standard German, there is no significant difference in gender assignment in Pennsylvania German between monosyllabic and polysyllabic nouns for either the native lexicon or English loanwords.
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