Grammatical gender and personal pronouns

Virtually all languages have independent personal pronouns, though in some their use is relatively infrequent. Nominal agreement is the means used to determine whether grammatical gender, or the categorization of nouns into classes, is present. When applied to pronouns, a language’s gender system may differ from that of nouns. The gender system is often derived from biological sex, with the three primary classes being masculine, feminine, and neuter. Entities that cannot be categorized into biological sex may be, as a class, marked neuter, masculine, or, more rarely, feminine. Otherwise, the assignment of gender may be based on semantic principles or random distribution. Gender is most often marked on the third-person singular, although its use is not restricted to this form.


NoPP: The language does not have independent personal pronouns.

NoGns: Grammatical gender (the categorization of nouns into grammatical classes) does not exist.

PPGnsElse: The pronominal gender system diverges from the masculine–feminine and masculine–feminine–neuter models; it may include additional categories alongside these, or it may comprise entirely different categories altogether.

NoPPGns: Although grammatical gender does exist, it does not apply to personal pronouns. (This category includes those languages whose pronominal gender system only applies to animate entities, while nouns or other pronouns are used for inanimate entities.)

PPGns3+1~2: Grammatical gender exists in the third person, as well as the first and/or second person. The marking of gender may be restricted to the singular, or it may also apply in some or all non-singular numbers (dual, plural, etc.).

PPGns3: Grammatical gender exists only in the third person, not limited to the singular.

PPGns3Sg: Grammatical gender exists only in the third-person singular.

PPGns1~2: Grammatical gender exists in the first or second person, but not in the third person.

PPGns3NonSg: Grammatical gender exists only in the non-singular third person.