Reference : Hersemantisering in het Nederlandse genussysteem
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
Hersemantisering in het Nederlandse genussysteem
De Vos, Lien [Université de Liège - ULg > Département des langues et littératures modernes > Philologie historique néerlandaise - Langue néerlandaise moderne et linguistique synchronique >]
Studies van de BKL
[en] grammatical gender ; gender change
[en] The gender system of the northern variety of Dutch has a long and well-known history of development. These developments seemingly have led to a divergence between the northern and the southern gender system, the latter one being a more conservative system, retaining the original three genders. Regarding pronominal gender, recent studies have indicated that the northern varieties make use of some semantic properties of the referent, in order to choose the appropriate pronoun. In the southern varieties there is still syntactic agreement: the choice of the pronoun is based upon the grammatical gender of the noun, rather than on the conceptual properties of its referent. This article investigates the extent to which southern speakers use grammatical gender, in order to clarify the current situation of the pronominal gender system in southern Dutch. As the results will show, the southern pronominal gender system has started developing to a semantic system, so that the distance between the gender systems of both varieties of Dutch will decrease.

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