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Ah, thanks for that detail.

stevo

On Mon, May 7, 2012 at 12:36 PM, David McCann <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> On Sun, 6 May 2012 22:17:25 -0400
> MorphemeAddict <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Russian, I believe, does use feminine agreement with masculine nouns
> > that refer to women.
>
> There was a survey on that done in the 1960s. Nearly 4000 people were
> asked to choose between "Iavanova — xorošij vrač" and "Ivanova —
> xorošaja vrač" (Ivanova [is a] good doctor). The problem is that the
> name Ivanova is feminine but the word for doctor, vrač, is masculine.
> Only 17% chose to use the feminine adjective with the masculine noun.
> They were also asked to choose between "vrač prišel" and "vrač
> prišla" (the doctor came) on the assumption that it was Dr Ivanova.
> That time 52% chose to use the feminine verb with the masculine noun.
>
> That was in line with the agreement hierarchy, where semantic agreement
> becomes more likely on the scale adjective > verb > relative pronoun >
> personal pronoun.
>
> Another real life case was the organiser of a tour of the Kremlin in
> 1988 who introduced the guide with the words "Èkskursovod pered vami.
> On podnjal ruku": "Your guide [m] is before you. He has lifted his
> hand." The guide was a woman! Evidently no-one had told the organiser
> (another woman) about the agreement hierarchy.
>