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

From:Robert Hailman <robert@...>
Date:Sunday, June 4, 2000, 3:22
Nik Taylor wrote:
> > Robert Hailman wrote: > > We known languages can aquire gender, but in the case of Yanyula these > > distinctions existed in other languages. For a similar process to occur > > in our techno-speak, the techo-genders would have to exist in another > > language. Maybe a scientific auxlang or something... > > But the point is, at some point, some language somewhere in the region > had to develop gender. That system of genders was diffusing outwards. > Presumably, perhaps a few centuries ago, a language evolved gender all > by itself, then its neighbors borrowed that, and their neighbors in turn > borrowed it, and so on. > > Why are you so insistent on those genders being artificial? "Long, > narrow things" sounds pretty artificial to me, yet is attested in the > Bantu family. I see no reason why gender can't evolve all by itself > with no influence from neighbors. The development of something like > that on its own is probably pretty rare, but I doubt that its unknown - > if it were, then surely languages would be less diverse than they are. > Spontaneous changes must've occurred in the past to explain the enormous > variety we see. Otherwise, languages would tend to become more and more > like each other, as they borrow features from each other, which does > happen, of course. But occasionally, new constructions spontaneously > come into existence, and then they can spread outwards if the need is > perceived, or the speakers of the language with that new feature enjoy > some kind of prestige.
You say yourself that the development of something like this on its own is pretty rare, which is why I'd find it more feasible for the gender system to come from somewhere else. Since its rare for our techno-speak to be the first to have it, and it's also rare for surrounding languages to be the first to have it, and so on, I'd find it more feasible if the language that the system was borrowed from was artificial, even if it became part of the common language by natural means. -- Robert