Recent studies on nominal classification have proposed that the notion of noun class and gender should be fused (terminologically) since they both refer to the same grammatical construct (typologically). The claim receives support in Corbett (1991), Aronoff (1994), Aronoff and Fudeman (2005), Maho (1999), Corbett and Fraser (2000), and Corbett (2006), among other works. The fusion results in a term called gender (Corbett 1991, pg. 146) which is defined solely on agreement, that is, a language has gender if the language shows "some systematic covariance between a semantic or formal property of one element and a formal property of another" ((Steele 1978, pg. 610), cited in Corbett (1991, 2006)). The paper presents support for the distinction between gender and noun class by providing data from Chakali in which both grammatical constructs are independent of one another.
Selected Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference on African Linguistics: Linguistic Theory and African Language Documentation
edited by Masangu Matondo, Fiona Mc Laughlin, and Eric Potsdam
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