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A history of Iroquoian gender marking

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Abstract

The North Iroquoian languages have a three-way gender division in the third-person prefixes. On the basis of small differences between the meanings of these genders, a history of the gender marking is proposed, building upon earlier work by Chafe (1977). This new proposal uses fewer reconstructed stages and only assumes widely attested kinds of semantic change. However, because some aspects of this proposal do not follow genetic or areal connections between the languages, independent parallel developments are proposed to account for the convergence.

References

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