Concord of Gender and Number

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Wed Aug 19 1998 - 14:48:27 EDT

In the last few days we have had at least two threads that raised issues about
Gender concord with neuter substantives (or adjectives). There are several
ways in which neuter substantives are observed to break the "rules" of concord
for both gender and number. Can anyone on the list put together a nice tidy
list of these?

I am speculating that there is something inherent in the semantics of the
neuter gender that gives it more flexibility relative to concord. The neuter
when it represents something abstract seems to disregard the "rules" of
concord. By "abstract" I mean things like collections (collective plurals)
which are treated as singulars, etc. This is just a wild guess at why the
neuter seems to transgress what are otherwise fairly consistent patterns of

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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