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Gender marking is a way of explicitly signalling that a linguistic expression refers to a male
or female being (person or animal). This can be achieved by various linguistic means, e. g.,
attributive adjectives as in the phrase male nurse, female kangaroo, appositions such as in
French madame le premier ministre ‘madam prime minister’ and, last but not least, by wordformation:
compounding, as in Turkish erkek ö?retmen ‘man teacher’ for ‘male teacher’,
German Papageienweibchen ‘parrot female’ or affixation as in Italian attrice ‘actress’. The
crucial point shared by all these examples is that the semantic feature of gender be signalled
by a recurrent and identifiable marker, since not all gender-specific nouns denoting persons
carry such a marker. Thus, e. g., the Turkish kinship terms o?ul ‘son’ or k?z ‘daughter’ are
gender-specific by means of their semantics, not their form or grammatical features (since
there is no grammatical gender in Turkish), and therefore do not fall under gender marking as
defined here. On the other hand, the same kinship terms in Italian figlio ‘son’ and figlia
‘daughter’ signal their gender-specificity by the endings -o and -a, respectively, and so are
included in the definition

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