An Overview of Grammatical Gender in Italian

  • Federica Formato
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Language, Gender and Sexuality book series (PSLGS)


Grammatical gendered languages, such as Italian have a lexical, morphological and syntactic system that allows for the formation of gender in the language. A classification of how the Italian gender-specific grammar works and how it is manipulated to serve the ‘male as a norm’ discursive status quo is offered in this chapter. Telling examples show how masculine and feminine nouns are seen through the theoretical framework of markedness, where the ‘usual’ and ‘known’ is unmarked—masculine turned generics—and the ‘unusual’ and ‘unknown’ is marked—feminine terms emerging from a changing society. Grammatical gendered patterns become social gendered phenomena in what can be labelled ‘masculine as a norm’, through unmarked masculines, versatile masculines and other language usages which tend to hide women.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Federica Formato
    • 1
  1. 1.LancasterUK

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