Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule

New from Cambridge University Press!


Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.

New from Brill!


Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin

Query Details

Query Subject:   Feminine names ending in "-a"
Author:   Kentaro Toyama
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theories

Query:   Does anyone know of any studies done on the frequency of female names
ending in ''-a''?

Personal observation has led me to believe that there is a universal
tendency for female names to end in ''-a''. This is easily confirmed
for names in English or any of the Romance languages: The 1990 US
census ( ) shows that a full 41% of
female names end in ''-a'' (contributing to 31% of the female
population) versus 1% and 0.6% for male names (of which, many appear
to be female names perhaps adopted by transgender men).

I believe that this trend might also hold for other languages, though
perhaps to a lesser degree.

I am also interested in any reasonable explanations for this
phenomenon -- the most obvious is that languages with noun genders
frequently use ''-a'' to indicate feminine nouns, but this only begs the
question for why THAT might be so.

Any leads would be greatly appreciated!

Kentaro Toyama
LL Issue: 11.186
Date posted: 29-Jan-2000


Sums main page