Neuter gender in Eastern Indonesia

Antoinette Schapper*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Gender is not a typical feature of Austronesian languages. In the insular region of Indonesia directly west of New Guinea, however, a semantic gender distinction of neuter versus nonneuter is commonplace. In this paper, I argue that this gender distinction is an areal feature that has been independently innovated several times in the Austronesian languages of the region. I further contend that this feature is likely to have developed under influence from Papuan languages possessing similar systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-435
Number of pages29
JournalOceanic Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


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