WiP: Gender Assignment in Tsova-Tush, October 28 – Thomas Wier

CRRC-Georgia, American Councils and ARISC present the 6th talk of the Fall 2015 Works-in-Progress season:

“Gender Assignment in Tsova-Tush”
Thomas Wier, Free University of Tbilisi

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 6:30pm
EPF/CRRC-Georgia, Kavsadze St. 3, Tbilisi

Why do natural languages have gender systems, and what does gender in language really mean, anyway? In this talk, we will explore this question by a review of the literature of gender systems in natural languages — what systems are possible and which are not — by reference to one key language of the Caucasus, Tsova-Tush aka Batsbi. We will also examine new data for Tsova-Tush that deconstruct the notion that it has eight genders and extend and enlighten our understanding of how natural language gender systems work generally.

Thomas Wier has been Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Free University of Tbilisi since 2012. He received his Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Chicago, where his dissertation was a study of Georgian morphosyntax. His work focuses on how word-structures do or do not reflect wider properties of clauses. In addition, he has also pursued field work on various languages of the Caucasus and native North American languages. His new book on the grammar and literature of the Tonkawa language will be published next year.

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

Would you like to present at one of the W-i-P sessions? Send an e-mail to natia@crrccenters.org.