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Pronominal Gender in Spoken Dutch

  • Jenny Audring (a1)

Abstract

This paper discusses the problem of gender agreement in Dutch, arising from the loss of gender markers and resulting in different gender values for nouns and pronouns. On the basis of corpus data from spontaneous speech, the study shows that Dutch pronominal gender is undergoing a functional reinterpretation according to the degree of individuation of the referent. In addition to the antecedent's lexical gender, this conceptual property governs the agreement behavior of personal, possessive, and relative pronouns. Special attention is given to the competition between semantic and syntactic gender agreement and to parallel phenomena in other Germanic languages.Many thanks to Geert Booij, Grev Corbett, Edith Moravcsik, Monika Schmid, Hans Olav Enger, Caroline Sandström, Pieter van Reenen, Frans Hinskens, Florian Haas, and two anonymous referees for comments on versions of this article, to Andrew Spencer for discussion, and to my colleagues at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for additional data. The usual disclaimers apply.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Letteren, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam The Netherlands [j.audring@let.vu.nl]

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Journal of Germanic Linguistics
  • ISSN: 1470-5427
  • EISSN: 1475-3014
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