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"organic/non-organic intelligence gender" <was Re: Ladanandwoman's speak>

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Thursday, May 25, 2000, 7:04
Robert Hailman wrote:
> To resolve our whole discussion, though, someone just has to prove what > causes gender systems to change.
Dixon gives an example of gender-acquisition from Yanyula, an Australian language which has recently acquired gender, by the influence of neighboring gendered languages. One of the genders is "food", marked by the prefix ma-, which is related to the noun _mayi_, "edible vegetable food"; this language has ergative inflections marked by -Ngu [N = eng], when the "food" prefix is added to a word in the ergative, it becomes muNgu-, from ma- + -Ngu with the vowel assimilating. Originally, a noun phrase in the ergative would've consisted of _mayi_ in the ergative followed by a specific noun in the ergative, and later _mayiNgu_ became a prefix _muNgu-_ (thus, a sort of double-marking of case, obConlang: Watakassí does that with number, both the gender prefix and the noun itself mark pluralization, tho in different ways) Of course, in the case of Yanyula, it was merely acquiring a distinction which existed in neighboring languages, but still, it shows that gender can evolve in an un-gendered language. -- "If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God!" - Ralph Waldo Emerson "Glassín wafilái pigasyúv táv pifyániivav nadusakyáavav sussyáiyatantu wawailáv ku suslawayástantu ku usfunufilpyasváditanva wafpatilikániv wafluwáiv suttakíi wakinakatáli tiDikáufli!" - nLáf mÁldu nÍmasun ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor