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Re: Male and female animals

From:bnathyuw <bnathyuw@...>
Date:Monday, October 28, 2002, 15:12
 --- Herman Miller <hmiller@...> wrote: > I'm
starting to come up with Lindiga words for
> different kinds of animals, > and it occurred to me that it might be interesting > to have distinct words > for males, females, and young of some species. > English even goes as far as > having distinct words for immature males and females > in a few cases. > > male female young yng. m. yng. f. > horse stallion mare foal colt filly > human man woman child boy girl > > In some cases, males and females look quite > different, and it makes sense > to have separate words for them. Adult male deer > have antlers, but except > for reindeer (and possibly a few others I'm > forgetting), most female deer > don't have them. It's also useful to have distinct > male and female words > for domesticated animals. More examples from > English: > > deer buck doe fawn > (bovine) bull cow calf > sheep ram ewe lamb > pig boar sow piglet > chicken rooster hen chick > > In a few cases, English has distinct words for the > male or the female of a > species, but not both. > > dog bitch puppy > fox vixen kit > duck drake duckling > goose gander gosling > > Different languages have specific words for males, > females, and young that > aren't distinguished in English; for example, Arabic > has distinct words for > male and female camels. But other languages seem to > get by without specific > words. Japanese has "ushi" for bovine animals in > general, "oushi" for > "bull", "meushi" for "cow" (female), and "koushi" > for "calf". Even in > English, some animals use the "-ess" suffix for > females (lioness, tigress), > or append "he-" and "she-" as prefixes (he-goat, > she-wolf). But these > affixes aren't productive in English: you can't say > "he-nightingale" or > "squirreless", for instance. > > Is it common for languages to have distinct words > for males and females of > familiar animal species, or is English unusual in > that respect? Picking up > a few dictionaries at random, I notice that Tohono > O'odham has "keli" for > "buck", but this is defined as "adult male; the male > of any animal". The > Basque words for "doe" are obviously derived from > the words for "deer" by > adding the suffix "-eme". Hindi, on the other hand, > has "mrigi" for "female > deer" ("deer" by itself is "harin."). > > If there are other languages that make these kinds > of distinctions, what > kinds of animals are distinguished in this way? Do > they tend to be > domesticated animals or conspicuous animals with > noticeable differences > between male and female? Or are there languages that > make distinctions for > no apparent reason (why for instance does English > have a distinct word for > female foxes)? > > I think it might be suitable to have a few specific > words for males, > females and young in Lindiga, but I don't think > there's any need for > specific words for immature males and females like > "colt" or "filly". In > the case of humans, it might seem a little strange > not to have distinct > words for "boy" and "girl", but male and female > suffixes are always > available if necessary. Other animals might have > distinct words for young, > but not for males and females. > > male female young > human urva xas.l.a kujva tirja > deer mi^va parra xi^n.a sivja > mouse me.vsa rin.t.a > > For most animals, having the ability to use suffixes > to make the > distinction should be good enough. > > turtle t.o.ska ["t`Oska] > male turtle t.o.sko.^sa [t`Os"kO:za] > female turtle^va [t`Os"ki:wa] > young turtle t.o.skuja ["t`Oskuja] > > On the other hand, it might be interesting to do > without specific words > entirely, even for humans! So "woman" would be > "she-human" (urvi^va) and > "buck" would be "he-deer" (mi^vo.^sa). >
you miss one category which exists in english : castrated male animals ram - balls = wether cock - balls = capon bull - balls = steer stallion - balls = gelding not sure if you'ld want to include this category . . . i suppose it depends how much you plan to talk about farming practices bac for the record has male and female suffixes, which are derived from the words for man and woman ( in turn derived from the words for outside and inside ). these two words aren't specifically human but are usually used when uncompounded to refer to humans, and their derivations to refer to human relations gel-gal-gol girl-female person-woman sec-sac-soc boy-male person-man gelhot-galhot-golhot (my) daughter-sister/girlfriend/wife/cousin-mother sechot-sachot-sochot (my) son-brother/boyfriend/husband/cousin-father the central terms are pretty ambiguous, so rakhot (my love) is usually used of romantic attachments. ganlhot however can be used to mean 'all the women in my family; my female relatives' &c bn ===== bnathyuw | landan | arR stamp the sunshine out | angelfish your tears came like anaesthesia | phèdre __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Everything you'll ever need on one web page from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts