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On 9 Jan 2016 16:57, "Jeffrey Brown" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> >
> >
> >
> > > On Thu, 7 Jan 2016 18:02:22 +0000
> > > And Rosta <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > >
> >
> > Genders are classes (of noun) that it is necessary for the grammar to
> > recognize. Grammatical behaviour that is fully predictable from
semantics
> > is not necessary for the grammar to recognize. The rules of grammar need
> > specify only what is not fully predictable.
>
> ‚ÄčThis does not seem correct to me. For example, in Arabic, verbal
agreement
> in some circumstances depends on the animacy of the subject (human vs
> non-human). The animacy of the subject is semantic (doctors are human;
> trees are not). Yet, I still have to know the agreement rule to form a
> grammatical sentence. That sure sounds like "grammar" to me (and my
> professor thought so, too, since he marked me down for my error in the
> exam).

You need look no further than me, for evidence, to be assured of the
fallibility of professors.

I don't know Arabic (of course), but I'll suppose the facts are as you
describe. In that case, you have to have a grammatical distinction between
two versions of the verb, Versions A & B, and semantic rules stating that
Version A verbs' subjects refer to animates and Version B verbs' subjects
refer to inanimates, but, crucially, nouns don't have to be marked in the
grammar as animate or inanimate. This is just like the situation for
Sylvia's conlang, which I had provisionally concluded has no noun classes
(for all that the grammar is sensitive to animacy, motility, sessility).

--And.