Agreement with International Corporate Names in Russian

Doludenko, Elena

Angol nyelvű Tudományos Szakcikk (Folyóiratcikk)
Megjelent: IULC Working Papers 1524-2110 16 (1) pp. 1-18 2016
    Azonosítók
    • MTMT: 31178750
    Since the fall of the Soviet Union, many foreign words have been borrowed into Russian, including the names of the biggest international companies. A lot of them have kept their spelling in Latin letters to stand out among Cyrillic letters. These new loanwords are assigned one of the three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter) in Russian, but native speakers can use different rules for gender assignment: gender can be assigned based on the formal rule (phonological or morphological criterion), semantic rule (as an analogy to the existing word or Basic Hyperonym Constraint suggested by Thornton, 2007), or default gender, which is masculine, according to Poplack, Pousada and Sankoff (1988). The aim of this study was to examine the patterns of gender assignment to corporate names spelled in English and to determine the hierarchy of the gender assignment rules. First, a Google search was conducted to collect examples of different genders assigned to fifteen company names used without their hyperonym, and then these names were divided into different types of corporations: retail, food/beverage, car manufacturers and other. The names were searched in the Russian National Corpus to check the frequency of gender assignment. Based on the data collected, the hierarchy of the gender assignment rules depends on the type of the company. For a number of company names, including retail and food/beverage corporations, hyperonyms seem to be the main gender assignment rule, while for car manufacturers, the phonological form of the word determines the gender agreement. The data do not support default gender (masculine) assignment rule.
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    2020-09-20 19:37