Sex and Agreement

(Mis)matching Natural and Grammatical Gender in Greek

  • Mark Janse Ghent University, Belgium & Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United States
Keywords: Ancient Greek, natural gender, grammatical gender, gender agreement, pronominal reference


This paper is about the relation between natural and grammatical gender in Greek and the ways in which the twain are matched or mismatched. A variety of topics is discussed, including the relation between grammatical gender and declension, the resolution of gender clashes in epicene nouns and the marking of natural gender in common nouns. Particular attention is given to the gendering of neuter diminutives with male or female referents. Age and particular aspects of “maleness” or “femaleness” are shown to be major determinants in triggering male or female instead of neuter agreement patterns, especially on anaphoric pronouns, but occasionally also on other word classes such as predicative adjectives and participles.


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How to Cite
Janse, Mark. 2020. “Sex and Agreement”. Keria: Studia Latina Et Graeca 22 (2), 25-55.