Datapoint for feature 44A and language wals_code_prs

Discuss WALS Datapoint for feature 44A and language wals_code_prs.

15 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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_grammar#Pronouns) 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”

  10. Saeid Miri Says:

    There’s no gender distinction in Persian (Iran) pronouns while this map shows GD in “3rd person singular” pronouns.
    /u/ (3rd sing. pro.) can be used for both men & women.The reference is Mahootian (1997: 205), but there’s nothing about gender distinction on that page. You can find this

  11. Azita Says:

    I was surprised too to see that Persian/Farsi listed as having gender-specific pronouns. The only thing that I can think of is adding “ه” at the end of some words that comes from Arabic such as:

    polite word for dead person (male) مرحوم
    polite word dead person (female) مرحومه

  12. Azita Says:

    The reference doesn’t say anything like this. I wish I could copy/paste that part here. In fact it is quite opposite. Is there any way to modify this info?

  13. Mark Schmalz Says:

    Чукча – не читатель, чукча – писатель.
    Fellas, can you read? Matthew Dryer explained four years ago that in a typologically non-biased sense gender means a temporally stable division of the lexicon in formally recognizable classes according to whichever criterion. Here, the criterion is animacy. It is very interesting what all of you are saying about the modern spoken Persian, but note for Christ’s sake that the indicated value concerns the literary Persian. Or is it simply the case that you don’t quite master it?
    There are reliable sources that confirm the animacy distinction between u/vey on the one hand and aan on the other hand (e. g. Rubinčik, J. A. 2001. Grammatika sovremennogo persidskogo literaturnogo jazyka. Moskva: Izdatel’skaja firma “Vostočnaja literatura” RAN, p. 170). Irrespective of the fact that aan is actually a demonstrative, one cannot forgo using it when referring pronominally to inanimate referents in 3SG. Therefore, it is warranted to say that gender distinction exists in this combination of grammemes in this grammatical domain of literary Persian.
    Can you first do some research and express your doubts then? I wasted a quarter of an hour of my precious lifetime reading the invalid ones expressed in this section and doing the ensuing research for you.

  14. Mark Schmalz Says:

    A correction:
    gender is a temporally stable division of the entire nominal lexicon according to whichever criterion in classes that are formally recognizable outside the part of speech ‘noun’.

  15. Nazila Says:

    Hi! In Persian, there is no gender distinction actually. There is one pronoun that refers to both he and she.

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