This book explores the boundaries of the category of gender and their theoretical significance within the framework of Canonical Typology. Grammatical gender is a famously puzzling category: although it has been widely explored from a typological perspective, studies are constantly identifying exciting and unexpected patterns in gender systems, many of which cannot be easily classified or straightforwardly analysed. Some of these patterns stretch or even threaten to
cross the largely unexplored outer boundaries of the category.
In the canonical approach, morphosyntactic features like gender are established in terms of a canonical ideal: the clearest instance of the phenomenon. The canonical ideal is a clustering of properties that serves as a baseline to measure the actual examples observed. In this volume, international experts use this approach to analyse a range of gender systems that diverge from the canonical ideal, and to determine to what extent each component property of these systems can be considered
canonical. Chapters explore a wide range of typologically diverse languages from all over the world, from South America to Melanesia, and from Central Italy to Northern Australia. The book will be of interest to all linguists working in the field of typology, from graduate level upwards, as well as to
morphologists and syntacticians of all theoretical stripes who have an interest in grammatical gender.
Sebastian Fedden is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Paris 3 (Sorbonne Nouvelle). He has an MA from the University of Bielefeld and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. He is a typologist who specializes in morphology, nominal classification, and Papuan languages. His book A Grammar of Mian (De Gruyter Mouton, 2011) won the Gabelentz Award Association for Linguistic Typology for the best published grammar from 2009 to 2012. He is currently working with Greville G. Corbett on refining the typology of nominal classification from the perspective of Canonical Typology. Jenny Audring is Assistant Professor at the University of Leiden. She specializes in morphology and has written extensively on grammatical gender. Her research interests range from linguistic complexity and Canonical Typology to Construction Morphology. She is currently working on morphological theory together with Ray Jackendoff and Geert Booij. Her forthcoming volumes with OUP include The Texture of the Mental Lexicon (with Ray Jackendoff) and The Oxford Handbook of Morphological Theory (co-edited with Francesca Masini). Greville G. Corbett is Distinguished Professor of Linguistics, University of Surrey, where he leads the Surrey Morphology Group. He researches the typology of features: Gender (1991), Number (2000), Agreement (2006), and Features (2012), all with CUP. With several colleagues, he has been developing the canonical approach to typology, as in the papers in Language, on suppletion (2007) and lexical splits (2015). He is co-editor, with Dunstan Brown and Marina Chumakina, of Canonical Morphology and Syntax (OUP 2012) and, with Matthew Baerman and Dunstan Brown, of Understanding and Measuring Morphological Complexity (OUP 2015).