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Re: Pronoun gender in Ikanirae Seru

From:Rachel Klippenstein <estel_telcontar@...>
Date:Friday, April 4, 2003, 4:37
 --- "H. S. Teoh" wrote:
> Rachel Klippenstein wrote: > > In Ikanirae Seru, the third person pronoun > > distinguishes between 4 "genders"
> > 'Personal' |eki| is used mainly for humans, as > > well as any other personal being (...) However, > > it is also used of languages, books and other > > works of literature. > > Because languages and books convey personality?
You could put it that way. I think musical instruments are also referred to with |eki|.
> > '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 > > (...) > > 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;
(snip details) The logic behind the Ikanirae Seru classification is that body parts in themselves are not really personal; your arm can't speak or think or have emotions (I almost said "feel", but thatwould sound like it lacked the sense of touch) etc. Classifyng body parts according to masculine/feminine distinctions makes sense to me, though I doubt I'd make a language that did it.
> > '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?
Rubber would probably get classified as non-living, since in the experience of the creators of Ikanirae Seru it is not closely plant-related. However, I highly suspect there are borderline cases where different speakers, or the same speaker in different circumstances, may use living and non-living pronouns. Depending how long the language lasted, these may have become standardised in one direction or the other.
> > 'nonliving' |roha| is used for other nonliving and > > abstract things. > [snip] > > Sounds like the neuter gender in Ebisedian.
It's just all the leftovers. Rachel ______________________________________________________________________ Post your free ad now!