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Re: Nauradi

From:Alex Fink <000024@...>
Date:Sunday, November 23, 2008, 22:26
On Sun, 23 Nov 2008 14:30:14 -0700, Scotto Hlad <scott.hlad@...> wrote:

>I'm thinking then that as the anatomical sex endings are only used when it >is necessary to differentiate gender that there should be only an animate >and inanimate personal pronoun and when differentiation is necessary, the >same male/female suffix could be added. Are there any natlangs that function >this way?
I second this call for ANADEW. Among conlangs it seems to be very prevalent that languages profess not to mark the masculine / feminine distinction, but then in the pronoun system there's a masculine and a feminine suffix that can be added in case disambiguation is necessary, or in case the speakers for some reason want to make a person's sex known. Among the natlangs I can think of, though, this doesn't happen. Mostly not marking for gender means, across the board, not marking for gender; sometimes instead the pronouns will show an extra gender distinction, but that will be obligatory. If one regards English as having singular "they", then perhaps it's a case where there are contrastive genderless / masculine / feminine pronouns, but still "they" is the marked member of the opposition, and I don't think anyone can use it completely freely, e.g. with definite antecedents of a specified sex: *"[My mother_i] broke their_i hip yesterday". But I can't think of any case with a genderless / masculine / feminine system where the genderless term is the unmarked one. (Frankly, seeing this in conlangs kinda gives me the impression that the author doesn't want the English masculine/feminine distinction but can't quite stomach giving it up. No reason to let this deter you, of course; it's your lang.) Alex


Scotto Hlad <scott.hlad@...>
Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>