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Re: Pronoun gender in Ikanirae Seru

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Monday, March 31, 2003, 15:39
On Sun, Mar 30, 2003 at 11:15:00PM -0500, Rachel Klippenstein wrote:
> In Ikanirae Seru, the third person pronoun > distinguishes between 4 "genders" (Is it still called > gender if masculine and feminine are not categories, > or is there another term?).
I believe it's still gender. It's "grammatical gender" as opposed to "biological" or "physical" gender.
> The 4 categories are approximately personal, animate, > living, and nonliving, but it's actually more complex > than that. > > 'Personal' |eki| is used mainly for humans, as well as > any other personal being (God, angels, intelligent > aliens, fairies etc.) However, it is also used of > languages, books and other works of literature.
Because languages and books convey personality?
> 'Animate' |aku| is actually restricted to higher > animals, essentially vertebrates. You would use it of > a dog, a bird, a fish, a lizard, but not of a spider, > mosquito or jellyfish. It is also used for body > parts, the sun, the moon, wind and water (at least > out-in-nature water, like rivers, rain, the sea. I'm > not sure about tap water or the water in your glass.)
Interesting that body parts are considered differently from the personal category. In Ebisedian, almost all body parts are inflected for (biological) gender of the person it belongs to; so there are two words for "arm", one for a man's arm (bi'ji) and one for a woman's arm (bici'). Similarly, _ka'rim_ is a man's face, _dami'm_ is a woman's face, and _cha'rim_ is epicene, it can refer to either.
> 'Living' |sera| is used for lower animals and plants. > It is also used for food, whether plant or animal > derived, as well as for obviously plant/animal derived > things such as wood and probably wool or leather.
Interesting. What about borderline cases like rubber, which may be either organic or synthetic?
> 'nonliving' |roha| is used for other nonliving and > abstract things.
[snip] Sounds like the neuter gender in Ebisedian. T -- Bug report: there's a fly in my soup. Escalated bug report: it's still swimming. Show-stopper bug: I've just swallowed it!


John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Joe Fatula <fatula3@...>
Rachel Klippenstein <estel_telcontar@...>