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Gender of Unmarked Feminine Nouns in Beni Hammou

Journal: International Journal of Linguistics and Literature (IJLL) (Vol.2, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 11-16

Keywords : Unmarked Feminine Nouns; Variation; Masculine; Feminine;

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All languages refer to gender as feminine and masculine. Arabic as one of these languages distinguishes between feminine and masculine genders. In Arabic1 feminine words have the ending ‘-a’ to be different from masculine words which carry no suffix and thus are unmarked for gender: ?ha?r-a? ‘stone’, and ?ward-a? ‘rose’ are examples of feminine nouns having ‘-a’ at the end, while ???b?e? ‘plate’ and ?kursi? ‘chair’ are masculine nouns without being marked. However, there are cases where the feminine nouns are unmarked and the decision about whether a noun is feminine or masculine is hard. This paper is intended to examine variation in the unmarked feminine nouns in Beni Hammou Arabic (BHA), a spoken variety in Beni Hammou, a village among the thirteen villages2 that form the valley of Beni Snous which is an area situated on the Algero- Moroccan confines, 600 km North West of Algeria and 35km far from Tlemcen. Classical Arabic (CA) is considered here as a reference point by which the variation in question in this paper is to be compared.

Last modified: 2013-04-13 20:07:15