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Gender in Russian: an account of gender specification and its relationship to declension

Corbett, Greville G. (1982) Gender in Russian: an account of gender specification and its relationship to declension Russian Linguistics, 6 (2). pp. 197-232.

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A native speaker of Russian 'knows' the gender of many thousands of nouns. While the literature on gender in Russian is considerable – as our bibliography shows – the basic question of how it is that Russians use gender correctly has been largely ignored. It is this question we shall try to answer. One hypothesis would be that a native speaker remembers the gender of each item individually; that is to say, each noun is specified for gender in his internalized lexicon. The opposite hypothesis would be that gender is never remembered – it can always be derived from other information about a noun (such as its meaning or phonological form); in other words, no noun is specified for gender in the lexicon. Between these extremes there are various hypotheses according to which the gender of many nouns would be derived by some sort of procedure, while that of various exceptions would be specified in the lexicon. We shall see that gender and morphological class are strongly interrelated, but we shall claim that the few investigators who have considered this relationship in any detail have postulated a type of dependency which creates more problems than it solves.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Literature and Languages > English > Surrey Morphology Group
Authors :
Corbett, Greville
Date : 1982
Additional Information : The original publication is available at
Depositing User : Users 10 not found.
Date Deposited : 04 Nov 2010 12:31
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 16:24

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