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Re: Rebbetzin Zamenhof?

From:BP.Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 12, 1999, 22:22
At 08:27 on 11.1.1999, Christophe Grandsire wrote:

 But don't forget that the freedom of
> composition is nearly total in Esperanto, so you can without a problem use > edzin- as a suffix with the meaning "wife of a...", for instance > panistedzino for "wife of a baker", but I find this weird and useless, > except for very precise uses.
I beg to disagree about both weirdness and uselessness! Please consider this potential word-family: a) pan'ist'o "baker (of either sex)" b) pan'ist'in'o "female baker" c) pan'ist'edz'o "person married to a baker" d) pan'ist'in'edz'o "husband(?) of a female baker" e) pan'ist'edz'in'o "wife of a baker" IMHO it is only on assumption of the rather old-fashioned sexism of traditional Espo that one can take for granted that the distinction between (b) and (e) can be called 'weird and useless'. In the modern world, where it's normal for husbands and wives each to have their own profession it seems both sensible and useful -- if Steg is right and the Espo root 'edz' really is derived from a Hebrew/Yiddish *suffix* its even very appropriate -- the morpheme is coming home so to speak!:) Of course we still have some unresolved questions: 1) Persons not marked by 'in' are masculine by default rather than of indeterminate sex (humor not intended, but appreciated!;) Some Espists have pointed out that a 'male' suffix 'ich' is implicit in the "male endearment" suffix 'inch' (compare 'inj:in' "female endearment:female". Surely the Fundamentalist "living being" suffix 'ul' could be used to explicitly denote "person of either sex", but that sorta doesn't solve the sexist problem on a deeper level. 2) Why on earth Zamenhof didn't invent a special grapheme for /dz/, when he did for /ts, tS, dZ, S, Z/. It's a bit assymmetric, since he decided to invent graphemes for those other sounds and used them so frequently. To me 'zh' suggests itself, but maybe the rarity of this sound and its occurence in 'edzo' is an expression of a subconscious awareness of the semantico-sexual assymmetry of Espo ;) /BP B.Philip Jonsson <bpj@...> ---------------------------------------------------- Solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant! (Tacitus)