Gender (was: Láadan and woman's speak)
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Friday, May 26, 2000, 5:15|
At 4:36 pm -0400 25/5/00, Nik Taylor wrote:
>Carlos Thompson wrote:
>> Well. English has now-a-days and important classification system in its
>> grammar: count and mass nouns.
>You could even go so far as to say that English has FOUR genders, but
>very restricted in their effect, showing up only in determining the
>"multitude adjective" and pronouns. They are:
>1. Masculine - uses "he" and "many"
>2. Feminine - uses "she" and "many"
>3. Neuter-Count - uses "it" and "many"
>4. Neuter-Mass - uses "it" and "much"
Nick may be interested to know the traditional dialects of the Devonshire
area of England do have a pronoun differences marking the four genders
Neuter count nouns are referred to as 'he' [i:] (subj) and 'un' (<-- Old
Eng. hine) (object), just like masculines; but neuter mass nouns use 'it'
(unstressed: 't), e.g.
Pass the loaf - he's over there.
I like this bread - 'tis very tasty.
But there is a difference between count nouns & masculines in the
possessive forms; "his" is "he's" [i:z], but "its" is "of un", this:
referring to John: he's book
referring to a hammer: the handle of un
The feminine sing. pronoun, BTW, is the invariable 'her', with silent 'h'
and final 'r' pronounced the American way.
PS - I'll be setting Conlang to nomail later today, so I'll probably not
see any reply. Be back on 5th June.
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]