Croatian Grammatical Gender as a Cultureme

Tatjana Pišković; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb
This paper contains short descriptions and reviews of two topics that the psycholinguistic and ethnolinguistic interest in grammatical gender is based upon. First, we will show the results of an experiment (survey) where native speakers were offered imaginary nouns, and then asked to insert gender changeable modifiers. Second, we will present another peripheral phenomenon of gender fluctuation which is taking place in the semantic core itself, the defeminization of married and unmarried women. This can be seen in some dialects in southern Poland and in Kajkavian idioms in some regions of Hrvatsko zagorje. Both issues can be considered examples of (linguistic) culturemes.
Key words
grammatical gender; cultureme; psycholinguistics; ethnolinguistics; imaginary nouns; grammatical defeminization
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