On the Relationships Between the Grammatical Genders of Inanimate Nouns and Their Co-Occurring Adjectives and Verbs

Adina Williams, Lawrence Wolf-Sonkin, Damian Blasi, Hanna Wallach, Ryan D Cotterell

Abstract


We use large-scale corpora in six different gendered languages, along with tools from NLP and information theory, to test whether there is a relationship between the grammatical genders of inanimate nouns and the adjectives used to describe those nouns. For all six languages, we find that there is a statistically significant relationship. We also find that there are statistically significant relationships between the grammatical genders of inanimate nouns and the verbs that take those nouns as direct objects, as indirect objects, and as subjects. We defer a deeper investigation of these relationships for future work.

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