Feminine gender marking using female-marking suffixes in Standard Dutch | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 61, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214


This paper investigates a non-prototypical use of the Dutch suffixes which are usually attached to a noun to denote a female referent. These suffixes may also be attached to nouns whose referent cannot be described in terms of being female; rather, the nouns in question refer back to an antecedent whose referent is either a group of people or is inanimate. Based on corpus data and attestations from the web, it is concluded that this phenomenon is a non-canonical type of agreement resulting from an association between collective nouns and feminine grammatical gender. It is posited that the few cases in which reference is made to a noun with an inanimate referent may involve personification of that referent.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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