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ERIC Number: ED215566
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
A Comparative Study of Gender Assignment to Borrowed Nouns. CENTRO Working Papers 10.
Poplack, Shana; Pousada, Alicia
This paper, part of a larger study of bilingualism, examines the assignment of gender to borrowed nouns, defined as those which can be etymologically identified as having entered Montreal French or Puerto Rican Spanish via English. The data were drawn from two distinct data bases. One consisted of over 300 hours of taped speech recorded from 16 Puerto Rican children and adults, residents of a single block in East Harlem, New York. The French data were extracted from a computerized corpus of sociolinguistic interviews with 120 speakers of Montreal French. The study focuses on the following: (1) motivations for the study of gender assignment; (2) review of factors cited in the literature as responsible for it; (3) an estimation of the influence of these factors on the attribution of one gender rather than the other to English nouns borrowed into Puerto Rican Spanish; and (4) an examination of intergenerational and interlinguistic patterns by way of a comparison of adult and child behavior, and a comparison of Puerto Rican patterns with Montreal French. The study shows that factors governing gender assignment are language-specific, and that once a gender is assigned by whatever criteria, there is generally unanimous agreement on its usage among speakers. (AMH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: City Univ. of New York, NY. Centro de Estudios Puertorriguenos.
Identifiers: Gender (Language); Quebec (Montreal)
Note: Prepared by Language Policy Task Force.