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Re: "gender" systems = vowel harmony coalescing with stress changes?

From:Wesley Parish <wes.parish@...>
Date:Friday, September 22, 2006, 12:43
On Fri, 22 Sep 2006 13:34, Eric Christopherson wrote:
> On Sep 21, 2006, at 7:25 AM, Wesley Parish wrote: > > Hi. I just thought that is a reasonable explanation for "gender" in > > Indo-European languages. And probably in other "gendered" language > > families > > such as the Afro-Asiatic family. > > > > Are there any books, articles, etc, that ask this sort of question? > > Perhaps you could explain your ideas about how they might be > related. I'm intrigued by the premise, but I can't seem to visualize > a connection.
The vowel harmony part of the question derives from the fact that most "feminine" gendered nouns in the Indo-European and the Semitic languages have 'a' stems, to use a latinism - in Greek, it's 'e' stems. I got to thinking that vowel harmony would apply primarily to the phrase, with many of the 'a' stem words not taking 'i' stem adjectives, and vice versa. The question's also partly inspired by Swahili's prefixed categories. As of now I don't know nearly enough about Bantu languages to recast the question for them. I'm assuming that PIE and Proto-Afro-Asiatic had a fixed stress. And that the phrasal vowel harmony I'm postulating contributed to that. At the moment I'm mostly thinking out loud - I think I'll need to reread my linguistics books to work my thoughts out better. Thanks Wesley Parish -- Clinersterton beademung, with all of love - RIP James Blish ------------- Mau ki ana, he aha te mea nui? You ask, "What is the most important thing?" Maku ki ana, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata. I reply, "It is people, it is people, it is people."


Eric Christopherson <rakko@...>