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."