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Re: Pronoun gender in Ikanirae Seru

From:João Ricardo Oliveira <hokstein@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 1, 2003, 12:23
According to the Language Construction Kit, it is still called "gender" even if it is
not masculine/feminine/neuter. Danish, IIRC, has two genders, none of them
masculine or feminine. It also mentions that Swahili has a system similar to

João Ricardo Oliveira
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Rachel Klippenstein 
  Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 1:15 AM
  Subject: Pronoun gender in Ikanirae Seru

  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?).

  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.

  '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.)

  '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.

  'nonliving' |roha| is used for other nonliving and
  abstract things.


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