Patterns of gender assignment in the Jamtlandic variety of Scandinavian

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Abstract

In this study, we present an analysis of gender assignment tendencies in Jamtlandic, a language variety of Sweden, using a word list of 1029 items obtained from fieldwork. Most research on gender assignment in the Scandinavian languages focuses on the standard languages (Steinmetz 1985; Källström 1996; Trosterud 2001, 2006) and Norwegian dialects (Enger 2011, Kvinlaug 2011, Enger & Corbett 2012). However, gender assignment principles for Swedish dialects have not previously been researched. We find generalizations based on semantic, morphological, and phonological principles. Some of the principles apply more consistently than others, some ‘win’ in competition with other principles; a multinomial logistic regression analysis provides a statistical foundation for evaluating the principles. The strongest tendencies are those based on biological sex, plural inflection, derivational suffixes, and some phonological sequences. Weaker tendencies include non-core semantic tendencies and other phonological sequences. Gender assignment in modern loanwords differs from the overall material, with a larger proportion of nouns assigned masculine gender.

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  • Specific Languages
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Linguistics
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes