Re: Umlauts (was Re: Elves and Ill Bethisad)
|From:||Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 3, 2003, 11:36|
Quoting JS Bangs <jaspax@...>:
> Andreas Johansson sikyal:
> > Quoting Chris Bates <christopher.bates@...>:
> > > There was an interesting study i read about somewhere, where they took
> > > the same words (eg bridge) and translated it into lots of different
> > > languages which all had grammatical (masculine/femine) gender, but which
> > > didn't necessarily assign the same gender to it. So for instance:
> > > [snip]
> > I too saw an article about that. The authors took for granted that it was
> > case of preconceived notions about what is masculine and feminine
> > the perception of things that only happen to have one or another gender
> > randomly assigned to it, but I'm not entirely happy about that conclusion.
> > Surely there must have been _some_ grounds for the gender assignments,
> > originally, no matter who random they may look after millennia of
> > societal and technological change.
> Yes, but whose to say that the original gender categories had anything to
> do with gender? I mean, of the innumerable "gender" systems in the world,
> only a few fit the IE-style masc/fem/neut, and in any more complex system
> it doesn't make any sense to even ask this question.
> Gender categories can grow out of phonological systems or any number of
> other things, and in these cases it doesn't really make any sense to talk
> about what properties of the bridge made it be called "masculine" or
> > And _new_ words in languages with grammatical gender are often assigned
> > for analyzable reasons - my German grammar even has a section on how to
> > predict the gender of new loans.
> Yes, but those analyzable reasons usually have a lot to do with phonology.
I think you've been reading something into my post I didn't intend to put
there - at any rate, I cannot see that your comments in any way detracts from
what I was saying.