Mauvais genre

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 Summary 


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 Feminine   -e

 Masculine -Ø

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 3 DEROGATIONS to the RULE

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 1st derogation: Irregular Suffixation

                                   Feminine


-ion

-aison

-ité

-eur

 

            Masculine

         -age

     -isme

     -aire

     -oire

     -acle 


 -asme

-ome

-ème

-ège

-ile

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 2nd derogation: Learned Compounds

 

 Masculine  e 

All irregular

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 3rd derogation: Masculine Gender Precedence

 

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 EXCEPTIONS

 FeminineFew

 Masculine : Many

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Some statistics    



Distribution of Regular Nouns
Regular nouns represent 70% of the class of nouns. Within these 70%, the split between masculine and feminine nouns is relatively equal.

Distribution of Derogative Nouns (from the 3 derogation cases) 

 Derogative nouns represent 25% of all nouns. Within these 25%, the distribution gives a slight advantage to masculine nouns. 

Feminine derogative nouns represent 29% of all feminine nouns when masculine derogatives represent 25% of all masculine nouns. 

The feminine Derogative nouns are very predictable and are concentrated in the single category of irregular derivatives (suff.-ion, aison,-ité and-eur). This category alone accounts for almost all female predictable irregularities. 

The masculine derogative nouns divide themselves into several categories: irregular derivatives, learned compounds, nouns families, English loanwords ... Making them more difficult to grasp.

Exceptions 

Masculine exceptions are by far the most numerous compare to feminine ones. They represent 5% of all masculine nouns.

Conclusion

We find that feminine nouns are by far the most easily predictable: They have a clear regular marker (final -e), know only one case of derogation to the basic rule (irregular suffixation) and admit little exceptions.

The masculine nouns are much more complex: regular nouns  don’t have a distinctive gender marker, they divide into multiple derogation categories (learned composition, irregular suffixation, conversion ...) and admit a significant number of exceptions.



Editions EDILIVRE

Copyright © Ginette Guillard-Chamart 2009. All rights reserved.  

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