Gender agreement in Chicewa


  • Greville G. Corbett
  • Alfred D. Mtenje


Chichewa, gender, agreement, noun class, language change, conjunction


Gender in Chichewa is described as a complete system. First the basic data on gender agreement are presented and it is shown how the available agreement markers correlate with the noun genders (and how the system has changed in the recent past). There follows a discussion of interesting phenomena which do not fit easily into the main gender system. Next structures involving conjoined noun phrases headed by nouns from various genders are analysed in detail. The rules required to account for the Chichewa system prove particularly complex; rules proposed for other Bantu languages do not cover all the Chichewa facts. The data are important for comparative work within Bantu and for typological claims which go beyond. O.