Datapoint for feature 44A and language wals_code_prs

Discuss WALS Datapoint for feature 44A and language wals_code_prs.

9 Responses to “Datapoint for feature 44A and language wals_code_prs”

  1. John A Says:

    Persian is clearly marked in the source as non-gendered.

  2. Matthew Dryer Says:

    While it may not be entirely clear from the chapter, the author was following common usage in linguistics in including human – nonhuman contrasts as gender contrasts. In this sense, Persian does have a gender contrast in third person singular pronouns.

  3. Shahab Says:

    “…common usage in linguistics in including human – nonhuman contrasts as gender contrasts.”
    Could you elaborate please?

  4. Maysam Says:

    Persian is marked as being gender neutral only in 3rd person which is wrong. Persian is 100% gender neutral. No matter the 1st, 2nd, 3rd person or nouns or whatever.

  5. Matthew S. Dryer Says:

    As noted above, there is a human-nonhuman distinction in third person singular pronouns in Persian, which counts as a gender. The common association between the word ‘gender’ and sex-based distinctions is simply due to the fact that gender distinctions in nouns in European languages are mostly sex-based.

  6. Reza Ange Says:

    Matthew S. Dryer – that is incorrect. There is no distinction of any kind in Farsi prounouns, either among sexes, or among human/non-human. Here are the translation

    I/My – Man
    You/Your – Toh
    He/Him/His/She/Her/Her/It/Its – Oon
    We/Us/Our – Ma
    You/Your (plural) – Shoma
    They/Them/Their – Oonha

    There is never a distinction, so I must apologise when I say that the map is incorrect in marking Farsi as a gender neutral in only 3rd person.

  7. Matthew S. Dryer Says:

    I don’t know enough about Persian to know the source of this difference of opinion, but many descriptions of Persian (such as describe Persian as making a distinction (u او (human) ān آن (non-human)). Is there an alternative interpretation of that distinction?

  8. Bruno Says:

    As far as I know, /u/ is a form that occurs in literary Persian but hardly in spoken Persian, in which /ân/ ~ /un/ is an alternative. Being initially a demonstrative, it’s use far from unmarked, probably something like derogaroty but in no case does it reflect an animacy/gender contrast

  9. Mahboud Zabetian Says:

    I was surprised to see Persian/Farsi listed as having gender-specific pronouns. In my mind, that means that there is one masculine and a different feminine word used as a pronoun. Persian does not have that. However, it does have, as third person singular, two common words, one is

    u او as in “من به او گفتم” (I told him/her) or “من با او رفتم” (I went with him/her) and
    ān آن as in “من آن را گرفتم” (i captured it) or “من آن را راه بردم” (I walked it)

    also, colloquially, you can use a -esh ش at the end of a verb, to signal a third person singular pronoun:
    من گرفتمش is the same as من او را گرفتم

    similarly, -et, could change the same verb to indicate a singular you, and -etun to indicate a plural you: من گرفتمتون , من گرفتمت
    -eshun for third party plural من گرفتمشون

    Matters get more complex when you start thinking about formal pronouns which tend to use plural forms for singular you and it(he/she)… Similar to the “royal you”

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