This article provides a general survey of a number of (mostly Indo-European) gender systems. In more recent years, regularities found in those systems have been accounted for by rule-based approaches where gender is assigned on-line by symbolic rules. A critical investigation of those accounts suggests that gender of existing nouns is stored individually, but that there must also be a mechanism that assigns gender to new nouns. It is argued that this behaviour is more adequately accounted for in a network model and it is shown how gender assignment can shed light on lexical structure at large.
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