Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Láadan and woman's speak

From:Tom Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Sunday, June 4, 2000, 5:08
Robert Hailman wrote:
    Marcus Smith wrote:

> > I'm not sure what you mean by irrelevant. I don't see why gender in German > > and Spanish is so "relevant". They don't need it for any special reason that > > English lacks. The system is just there, so the speakers have to abide by > > it. Tense is much more relevant to the real world or discourse, but there are > > languages that lack any tense distinctions. > > I'm saying that if a language that has a simple male/female gender > system develops natural/synthetic and electric/nonelectric systems and > such, and these new systems grow and diversify, eventually the > male/female system would no longer have any meaning and would be long. > I'm not saying that in German and Spanish gender is more relevant than > it would be in English, but the current systems could become irrelevant > as another one comes to take it's place in the distant future.
You're assuming that individual speakers have much of a choice about the structure of the language they use. Do speakers of English find suppletive irregular verbs like "be/was/is" relevant? If they even stop to consider grammar at all, I suspect that if asked about their "relevance" to modern postindustrial society, "irregular" verbs are irrelevant (= "inefficient"). Does that stop them from using them, however? Of course not. =========================================== Tom Wier <artabanos@...> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." ===========================================