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Agnone is a small town of approximately 5100 inhabitants in northern Molise (province of Isernia)


In Agnonese, as well as in other upper-southern dialects, controllers never exhibit inflectional endings due to the centralisation of final vowels. Determiners and third person object clitics, conversely, are inflected for gender and number. Besides masculine and feminine endings, Agnonese exhibits a 'neuter' form of determiners and clitics, which occurs whenever the controller is a mass nouns (of a certain kind, e.g. ˈkɛŠ̯ʃə ‘cheese’ in (1)) or the clitic pronoun references an event.

(1)    ˈkɛŠ̯ʃə
        ‘the.N.SG cheese’

        ru ˈbburrə
        ‘the.M.SG butter’ 

        la faˈroi̯na
        ‘the.F.SG flour’

The theoretical question we aim to address is whether the neuter must be regarded as a third autonomous value of the grammatical category gender or as a semantically based subclass (Maiden 2011:170) within one and the same gender (the masculine).

For a more detailed description of Agnonese and its relevance to the study of agreement, please refer to the overview written by Michele Loporcaro, Chiara Zanini and Federica Breimaier.


  • Finarelli, S. 2002-3. Il vocalismo tonico agnonese tra metafonesi e DVP. UniversitÓ di Roma ‘La Sapienza’: Tesi di laurea.
  • Maiden, M. 2011. 'Morphological persistence' in M. Maiden, J.C. Smith & A. Ledgeway (eds.), The Cambridge History of the Romance Languages. Vol. 1. Structures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 155-215, 699-706.
  • Meo, D. 2003. Vocabolario del dialetto di Agnone. Isernia: Cicchetti.
  • Ziccardi, G. 1910. 'Il dialetto di Agnone. La fonetica e la flessione' Zeitschrift fŘr romanische Philologie 34: 405-436.

  • Loporcaro, M. & D. Pedrazzoli 2016. 'Classi flessive del nome e genere grammaticale nel dialetto di Agnone (Isernia)' Revue de Linguistique Romane 80: 73-100. []
  • Loporcaro, M. 2018. Gender from Latin to Romance: history, geography, typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.