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Re: OT: Gender Bending Moro

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Monday, April 4, 2005, 7:43
On Apr 3, 2005, at 6:43 AM, Patrick Littell wrote:
> Since someone is going to bring it up eventually, I figure I'll do it: > Proto-Semitic polarity. The plurals of masculine nouns being feminine > and plurals of feminine nouns being masculine. (Scads weirder than > Moro, in my opinion, although probably not indicative of any sort of > excessive gender-bending among ancient Semitic peoples.) There's > still bits of this in Arabic, mostly of the masculine singular => > feminine plural variety. I can't say I understand the details, so > I'll leave it to one of our resident Semiticists to fill me in. Did > this also work with explicitly sexed groups? I think it doesn't with > modern "walad" (boy); "awlad" (boys) is still masculine (right?), even > though most of the nouns I know in that plural-class go through > polarity.
I'm pretty sure that in Arabic, only non-human (or non-animate?) plural nouns take singular feminine agreement; humans take masculine or feminine depending on gender/sex. I remember learning a theory that the masculine feminine-looking numbers in Semitic started as some kind of collective, but i don't remember if that theory said the same thing about feminine forms in general. -Stephen (Steg) "...i gave you love / you gave me fire i took you in / you took me higher if i wasn't what you wanted then tell me what it was..." ~ cailyn's song #2 ("all of me") by jms