International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Grammatical Gender in Arabic and Hawrami
Mahdi Sadjadi

Grammatical gender is arguably the most puzzling and fascinating of all grammatical categories that is central and pervasive in some languages and totally absent in others. The aim of this article is to investigate the similarities and differences in grammatical gender between Moroccan Arabic, one of the west Semitic languages, and Hawrami, one of the new northwestern and endangered Iranian languages, belonging to two different language families, i.e. Semitic and Indo-European, within the framework of contrastive analysis. To this end, the written sources in this connection have been used. Moreover, the author is the native speaker of Hawrami and has used his linguistic intuition where necessary. Data contrast indicates that in both languages: there are two grammatical genders (masculine and feminine); all nouns are either masculine or feminine; the unmarked grammatical gender is masculine; the grammatical gender of the noun is determined by its final phone (and stress position in Hawrami); adjectives, verbs, and personal pronouns agree with nouns in grammatical gender. Consequently, the grammatical gender assignment system of both languages is formal, i.e. phonological and therefore overt. There are also some differences between the two languages. The most important one is that only singular nouns have grammatical gender distinction in Hawrami, whereas both singular and plural nouns have this distinction in Moroccan Arabic. The results of the research can be used in language learning and comparative and historical linguistics.

Full Text: PDF