Gender category - Modern US language

Category of the genus

The genus is an inconsistent category of nouns, manifested in their ability to combine with the forms of the agreed words for each generic class {a new student, a new student, a new letter). In the modern United States, there are three grammatical families: male, female and middle. All nouns (except words like sleigh, gate, ink , not having the singular form) are distributed by genera.

The grammatical gender of nouns is expressed not only in syntagmatics, but also in features of inflection, and also in word formation. Thus, all nouns with a zero ending in the nominative case and ending with the i-th/i in the form of the instrumental singular are masculine (day, day). If the form the noun has the ending -yu, then the noun refers to the female genus (tribute, tribute). Nouns ending in -a in the nominative case of the singular numbers refer, as a rule, to the feminine gender (exceptions: uncle, slut, time , etc.). If the nominative singular case has an ending - o/-e , then the noun refers to the middle genus (exceptions: house, house , etc.).

For the word-building structure of masculine nouns, the suffixes -person, -nik, -un, -ik , etc. {teacher, pedlar, runner, table), for feminine nouns - suffixes - nits {a ), -k (a), ^ (a) y -sh (a), is and others {a teacher, a student, a runner, a general, a cunning ); words with suffixes -st (o), -ni} {e), -ti] {e) {teaching, singing, taking) belong to the middle genus.

The genus category is closely related to the category of animation/inanity. In animate nouns, male and female forms are meant to express the significance of the male or female biological sex (cf .: boy - girl, student - student, rooster). Meaning The biological sex is expressed, as a rule, only in nouns entering into the generic pair (ie, the pairing of nouns of masculine and feminine gender having the same lexical meaning and differing only in the biological sex value). Outside generic pairs, the grammatical gender usually has no biological sex ( person , being, child, squirrel)] the exception is the designation of typically male or female occupations, occupations, etc. . ( steel worker , childbirth , etc.).

From a formal point of view, generic couples are suppletive, i. e. with different root morphemes {male - female, grandfather - grandmother, sheep ram), word-formative (student-student, lion-lioness) and and those with a common basis and differing in the endings of (slave-slave, husband-spouse, Alexander-Alexandra ).

Various semantic relationships can be established between members of the clan pair. Sometimes a masculine noun denotes a male being (grandfather), and a feminine noun is a female ileal creature (grandmother). But more often one of the words of the generic pair not only denotes the being of a certain sex, but is also the common name of all creatures of this type, regardless of gender differences. For example, in the student student , the word student means not only the male person {the student and student entered) but also any representative of the social group {The duty of each student is good to learn.) In generic pairs that combine personal nouns, only masculine words ( artist, teacher, musician , etc.) can play such a role. ). If the words entering into the generic pair are the names of animals, then in some pairs the type of the animal can be designated by the word of the male genus {lion-lioness, hare-rabbit ; cf .: In the forests of Europe, lions do not live, but many hares), in other pairs - the word of the female genus {cat - cat, sheep ; cf .: Cat - pet] Sheep brought to Australia from England).

Of particular note are the nouns of the so-called common genus, which in meaning correspond with the faces of both males and females, and in the sentence they exhibit the properties of the male or female kind: our/our Sasha, the terrible/terrible slut , the surgeon Sedykh knew/knew. Consequently, unlike ordinary nouns, words of a generic kind refer not to one, but to two genera - male and female; in the context of the same always implemented grammatical properties of a certain kind - male or female.

In the 20th century, when many professions and positions were available to women, some masculine words began to acquire the ability to combine with the agreed words of not only masculine, but feminine gender; in conversation you can hear: the doctor said the factory director ordered. The transfer of words like doctor, doctor, professor to the category of nouns of the general kind is not completed: if expressions like doctor said in colloquial speech are acceptable, then expressions like good doctor are vernacular, and their use in forms of indirect cases (like saw a good doctor ) .

For some nouns, the generic variations (giraffe and giraffe, botfort and botfort , etc.) are characteristic. In this case, usually one generic variant is stylistically neutral and is recommended by the literary norm, while the other variants are prostitutive, obsolete or characteristic only for professional speech [cf .: hall (neutr.) - hall (out-of-date) - hall (simple); gelatin (neutr.) - gelatin (prof.)].

Special difficulties may arise when determining the kind of indeclinable nouns. The genus of borrowed animate nouns directly relates to the biological sex of the called creature {referee - m .; Miss, lady - Well. R.). Borrowed inanimate nouns (a muffler, a coat, a purse, etc.), as a rule, are of a middle genus; Exceptions: coffee (mr, but rag and Wed), Hindi, Swahili (names of languages ​​- m. p.), Avenue (w.). The genus of indeclinable geographical names correlates with the genus of the corresponding common noun [Toronto, Tbilisi (city names) - m .; Ontario (name of the lake) - cf. R.; Mississippi (name of the river) - g. R.]. The genus of indeclinable abbreviations usually corresponds to the genus of the main word of the phrase, which is the basis of the abbreviation [CIS - cf. R. (Commonwealth of Independent States), LTS - f. R. ( automatic exchange)].

thematic pictures

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)