40 Gender agreement of adnominal adjectives

This feature is described more fully in chapter 40.


Gender may be subdivided into two types: sex-based distinctions vs. grammatical gender. Sex-based distinctions are probably found in all languages of the world; in Papiamentu (Caribbean, Ibero-Romance-based), for example, there is a contrast between mama ‘mother’ and tata ‘father’. This contrast, however, is a matter of lexical semantics. By contrast, grammatical gender requires syntactic evidence, called agreement. Agreement may be exhibited, for example, by verbs, adjectives, determiners, or numerals. An example of a language displaying agreement is French, as in un grand clocher ‘a (m.) big (m.) church steeple’ vs. une grande table ‘a (f.) big (f.) table’. In these examples, both the indefinite article and the adjective agree with their noun in gender.


Philippe Maurer and the APiCS Consortium


No adjective agrees with the noun60
Only few adjectives agree with the noun12
Many adjectives agree with the noun2
All adjectives agree with the noun1

Language Value Lexifier Details Source
Id Primary text Analyzed text Gloss Translation Type Language Audio Details