gender assignement :new answers PLZ

mostari hind hmostari at
Mon May 18 19:37:22 UTC 2009

Hi , 
in code switching, it is generally agreed that the speaker uses his L1 in order to assign gender to L2 following his L1 equivalent or the phonological shape of L1 such as :
di: k  sachet 
 this  bag 
here , the speaker uses a masculine  demonstrative pronoun ( di:k in arabic ) because he translates  sachet into arabic ; which is feminine  ( chkara ) .
But , i have found that sometimes the speaker assigns a gender though he does not really  know the equivalent word in his L1 , basing on sonority ie i think that the speaker feels whether such word in Fr sounds more feminine or masculine such as :
da:k l'astuce 
the equivalent french word ' astuce' is unknown in arabic , so here , the only explanation i found  is that the speaker thinks that the phonological sonority of 'astuce ' is moremasculine  than feminine  . Though in reality , the french word astuce is feminine .
so, my question is : can you give to my explantion a more academic terminology , and do you agree with me ? 
all the best 
Dr Mostari 

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