In this article, I consider the notions of crosslinguistic categories and comparative concepts as they apply to a diminutive category in Walman, a language in the Torricelli family spoken in Papua New Guinea. I discuss three interpretations of the question of whether the Walman diminutive is a gender. One interpretation is the question whether the Walman diminutive is an instance of a crosslinguistic category of gender. I argue that this interpretation is problematic since it assumes the existence of crosslinguistic categories and I argue that there is no reason to believe that crosslinguistic categories exist, since the similarities among languages can be explained without appeal to crosslinguistic categories. A second interpretation involves a question of how the diminutive fits into the grammar of Walman, whether the diminutive should be considered a third value of a feature in the grammar of Walman which has two clear values, masculine and feminine. I argue that the evidence supports the view that the Walman diminutive is not a gender in this sense. The third interpretation is whether the Walman diminutive is an instance of a comparative concept of gender. But the answer to that question depends on how one defines gender as a comparative concept.
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