Gender Indexicality

Author : Françoise Rose

Publication date : 2015

Questionnaire URL :

Bibliographical references :

Rose, Françoise, 2015. On male and female speech and more: categorial gender indexicality in indigenous South American languages. International Journal of American Linguistics, 81 (4), pp.495-537.


" This questionnaire is made for linguists seeking to detect and describe gender indexicality. It was designed for a survey of gender indexicality in South American languages ", (Rose, 2015 : 49).

The questionnaire is available in four languages : English, Portuguese, Spanish and French. 

Protocol summary

Analytical questionnaire made up of 31 questions for a linguist with a good knowledge of the language being described. It is divided in five major categories : 
- Type of indexicality
- Locus of marking
- Synchronic comparison
- Diachrony
- Use.

Development context

This questionnaire, which was published as an appendix to an article, was designed to elicit gender indexicality in grammar, based on a typological survey of the phenomenon in 41 indigenous South American languages, as well as with the goal of "encouraging and facilitating research on genderlects" (Rose, 2015 : 1).

Broadly defined, 'gender indexicality' refers to the way speakers give clues about their gender within a speech situation.
In this article, 'gender idexicality' refers to the gender of the addressee, or both the speaker and the addressee.

Besides, the following factors help to describe gender indexicality :
- locus of gender indexicality : what is used to index gender (morphology, phonology, syntax, lexicon, prosody, discourse register).
- categorical vs statistical gender indexicality : if it is categorical, gender is necessarly indexed since each linguistic form will index one and only one gender. If it is statistical, then there is a "a tendency of association of one form to a gender" (Rose, 2015 : 7)
- non-referential vs. referential gender indexicality : "Non-referential gender indexicality occurs in utterances where the denotational meaning does not necessarily include the speaker and/or the addressee" (Rose, 2015 : 8) while referential involves  pragmatically marked elements, such as pronouns or deictics.





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