German noun genderization
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, May 1, 2002, 0:06|
Christian Thalmann scripsit:
> Can any German expert enlighten us about the workings behind the
> genderization of imported nouns?
German noun gender is irregular, in the same sense that German
strong verbs and German noun plurals other than -s are irregular:
new nouns are genderized not by rule, but by associative analogy.
The kinds of mechanisms (semantic equivalence, phonological shape)
that you describe are typical of the kind of associations that
are made. Occasionally there are anomalies: in the American
dialect of Icelandic, the borrowing "policeman" is feminine,
although the Is. equivalent is masculine and that is the natural
gender (especially in early 20th century).
John Cowan <jcowan@...> http://www.reutershealth.com
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith. --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_