Gender features on n & the root

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French presents a challenge to single feature gender analyses. For animate nouns natural sex is often realized instead of grammatical gender. Also, the sex and gender of epicene nouns – animates with fixed gender that allow no morphological representation of sex – can conflict. I argue for a two feature analysis, following Kramer’s (2009) proposal for Amharic: one feature on n that represents natural sex and another on the root that represents grammatical gender. Utilizing elements from Distributed Morphology (DM) including licensing conditions and a version of agree (Pesetsky & Torrego 2007), this analysis is shown to account for all of the problematic French data.


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