a1 Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University, 1 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003 email@example.com
This article provides a global survey of categorical gender indexicality that reveals the near exclusive presence of the phenomenon in the languages of the Native Americas, a fact for which a historical rationale is offered. The survey is helpful in contributing to our understanding of social indexicality in three ways. First, while two-place (or relational) social indexicals, like honorifics, have been well studied, one-place (or absolute) social indexicals have not. Systems of gender indexicality, overwhelmingly of the absolute type, thus help flesh out the typology of social indexicality. Second, the survey illustrates the remarkable complementarity of semantic gender, as a category of denotation, and social gender, as an aspect of identity indexed in discourse, in particular as these overlap in cases of gender deixis. Finally, the study of gender indexicality in the Native Americas reveals that not all gender indexicality is equally gender performative. A number of diagnostics of a categorical type—from ubiquitous rule-governed regularity of patterning to quotability—illustrate that in the cases discussed, forms are highly presupposing, not performative, of the social gender of the speech participants they index. (Gender, indexicality, deixis, Native Americas)*
(Received November 13 2009)
(Revised September 28 2010)
(Accepted June 26 2011)
(Reviewed December 07 2011)
* This article would not be half what it is if it were not for the persistence and generosity of the journal editor and the manuscript reviewers. My hearty thanks to them. I would like to thank, in particular, Michael Silverstein for working through multiple drafts of the article, and for steering it away from rocky shoals and towards safer waters at crucial points in the process. My gratitude is also hereby expressed to James Slotta for tirelessly reading, revising, and corresponding about what would ultimately be the final version of the article over the course of September 2010. Constantine Nakassis, as always, was very supportive and gave excellent comments on an earlier incarnation of the article. I was also greatly helped by German Dziebel's groundbreaking work on kinship terminologies and by a fertile correspondence with him in the spring of 2010. I also want to thank Suzanne Oakdale for generously providing me with information on Kayabi.