Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


New from Brill!

ad

Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Academic Paper


Title: Gender as an inflectional category
Author: AndrewSpencer
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Abstract: Russian adjectives, especially participles, can be used as nouns denoting people, e.g. bol'noj-bol'naja '(male-female) patient' from bol'noj 'sick', uca#chr(353)#cijsja-uca#chr(353)#cajasja '(boy-girl) pupil', participle from the verb ucit'sja 'to learn, study'. These are unusual in that they formally reflect the sex of their referent by means of inflectional morphology. Moreover, many surnames inflect like adjectives and they, too, inflect for gender: Mr. Pu#chr(353)#kin, #chr(268)#exov, Tolstoj, Dostoevskij but Ms. Pu#chr(353)#kina,#chr(268)#exova, Tolstaja, Dostoevskaja. Lexemes such as 'patient, pupil' are genuine nouns and not just adjectives modifying null nouns. The latter type do exist and have different properties from converted nouns. Converted nouns and adjectival surnames thus form systematic gender pairs which are forms of a single lexeme. However, gender is not conventionally regarded as an inflection category of the kind which induces word forms of lexemes in this way, rather it is an inherent 'classificatory' property of nouns. The paper discusses the peculiar nature of this type of inflectional marking and provides an explicit analysis of the construction. On the semantic side, nouns such as bol'noj, uca#chr(353)#cijsja have a similar representation to that of a phrase person who is sick-studies and we effectively have an instance of the poorly researched phenomenon of de-phrasal word formation. On the morphosyntactic side, the lexical entry of the deadjectival noun or surname shares crucial properties with 3rd person pronouns. The analysis raises questions about the nature of lexical categories (especially 'mixed categories') and the structure of lexical entries generally.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Linguistics Vol. 38, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site .



Back
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page