gender assignement :new answers PLZ

Carol Myers-Scotton myerssc3 at
Tue May 19 12:49:41 UTC 2009

Mostari--What you say is generally what is found in cs data sets.  That is, in general the dominant gender of the ML prevails, but then the system breaks down---phonological features are sometimes the basis for gender assignment, it seems, but not in all cases.  So there is no simple and complete answer.
I can't think of a more formal way to state the facts.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: mostari hind 
  To: lgpolicy-list at 
  Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 3:37 PM
  Subject: gender assignement :new answers PLZ 

                  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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