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Gender of rivers - and other waters.

From:Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
Date:Friday, October 3, 2008, 14:52
It struck me that the Suraetuan rivers all have masculine endings,
and I guess the Suraetuans must think of their waters as a kind of
semen that fertilises the Earth. Maybe you people who have such wide
repertoires of languages can tell me how common this is? Of course,
many languages don't have a gender system. Of the languages I know
anything about, at least German has a masculine word for river, but
the majority of the others seem to be feminine. How are you dealing
with this in your conlangs?

Urianians, too, seem to think of their rivers and lakes as masculine,
while the Azurians have only feminine river names and some feminine
and some neuter lake names. Surprisingly, the Urianians, unlike the
Greeks, have a feminine rain goddess, who may even have given her
name to the whole tribe, as her name is Uri. The word for rain in
Suraetua is a masculine, ikuda.

In the (weird) creation myth of the Urianians, Urt, the creator god,
fertilises the primal lake Kinau by dropping the severed genitals of
his brother Im (sometimes written Imm) into it. The lake then
overflows and gives rise to the rivers of the world.

Just thought you might like to know.



James W. <emindahken@...>
Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Michael Poxon <mike@...>
Gregory Gadow <techbear@...>
Ina van der Vegt <gijsstrider@...>