LINGUIST List 8.1705

Thu Nov 27 1997

Sum: First Person and Gender ctn'd

Editor for this issue: Anita Huang <>


  1. Cyril Veken, First Person and Gender ctn'd

Message 1: First Person and Gender ctn'd

Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 15:47:48 +0100 (MET)
From: Cyril Veken <>
Subject: First Person and Gender ctn'd

Thanks for so many helpful suggestions.

French, Spanish, Russian and Polish are not really cases of what I was
looking for, since gender is a form of concord rather than an independent
marker. The problem yet remains: concord with what? Northern italian
dialects with a "io" vs "ia" distinction (M. Donohue) would seem in an
intermediate position between concord and an independent morpheme stating
sex of the speaker. 

To put the various contributions in a nutshell, here is what I have been
able to bring together so far:

1. Languages that have "men's speech" vs "women's speech". Marked by special
morphemes whose function seems to indicate the speaker's sex. 
Among these, we have Sapir's beautiful and famous description of Yana, and
some Arawan languages of the Amazon, Garifuna (Arawak language of Central
America), some Siouan languages, and Chukchi and Biloxi (where are these
languages spoken, I'm afraid I don't know). Possibly Thai with a final
particle (krap for males and ka for females), and Ngala. 

2. Languages (Japanese, Thai, Burmese, Vietnamese) where speaker is referred
to by terms of kinship, some of these being more likely for men or for women.

Any comment on this welcome.

Thanks to D.L. Everett, Robert Hagiwara, Stuart Luppescu, Susan Bart, D.
Collins, Scott DeLancey, John. P. Boyle, Glen Gordon, Rick McCallister,
Karen Chung, Alfred Brothers, Dariusz Cichocki, Mark Donohue, Philip F.
Seitz, Earl Herrick, Bernd Spillner, Michael Dunn, Chad D. Nilep and Colin
Whiteley for their readiness to cooperate. Please let me know if you wish to
know more about how I came to ask the question, I'll do my best to oblige.
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