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Genders (was Re: Láadan and woman's speak_

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Thursday, May 25, 2000, 4:43
Robert Hailman wrote:
> Quite possible, but what I want to know is what would cause a gender > system to change so dramatically.
I'm picturing a gender system evolving in a language that had no gender system.
> I also find it doubtful that a culture would adopt a new gender system > just because they couldn't understand what gave nouns their gender under > the old ones, more likely that would cause them to drop gender almost > entirely.
Any feature of language can evolve from the absence, a caseless language can develop cases, and a genderless language can evolve gender. Exactly where gender comes from isn't completely agreed-upon, but probably evolves from classifiers. So, my idea was a language that had no gender (possibly having lost another gender system in the past) developed a gender system based upon things like electric/non-electric. -- "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