Genders - How many is too many? (21)

1 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-03-15 11:54 ID:zbhwku+Q

Being a silly native English speaker I think the whole idea is silly.
*What makes a bus or a pair of pants have gender?
*Why should I have to remember all of these nouns' genders and how to conjugate everything to go with them?
*How can you have more than three genders?! Thats just absrud!

2 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-03-15 11:56 ID:zbhwku+Q

One day I will use the correct markup on the correct websites--I promise. Today is not that day however.

3 Name: Antipika : 2006-03-15 16:12 ID:HRaMz8PV


*Depend of language, they'r some rules for german genders, however there's no rules at all for french genders (there's some exceptions)

*You have that's all, it's a part of the language. If you don't want to learn genders simply don't try to learn that language.

*Which language have more than 3 genders ?

4 Name: bubu : 2006-03-15 20:15 ID:Heaven

bantu languages sport more than 3, suaheli has 14

5 Name: bubu : 2006-03-15 20:20 ID:Heaven

well, "some bantu languages" do, not entirely all.
also, gender is a bit of a shaky concept, because the borders between g-aspect and c-aspect can blur pretty horribly.

>Being a silly native English speaker I think the whole idea is silly.

How so? Your language has plenty of gender floating around.

>* What makes a bus or a pair of pants have gender?

the fact that (in your language) nouns select gender in order to collect n-aspect, which allows them to be nouns while sharing their root with words of other classes.

6 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-03-15 21:41 ID:CspWwjtp

Would you please care to explain those g-aspect, c-aspect and n-aspect things?

7 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-03-16 00:55 ID:zbhwku+Q ..ok maybe not, that article sucks.

It does have gender floating around but it mostly deals with people that actually have a gender versus objects that do not have genders. Depending on who you ask English also has a way to refer to people of an undetermined gender aswell.

>the fact that (in your language) nouns select gender in order to collect n-aspect, which allows them to be nouns while sharing their root with words of other classes.

I have no clue what you mean.

8 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-03-16 00:58 ID:zbhwku+Q

That should be link apparently autolinking does not like )'s.

9 Name: bubu : 2006-03-16 12:30 ID:Heaven

the idea of the aspects in nouns that I referred to chiefly stems from GP/GM and is not the same thing as the grammatical aspect of the verb in the linked article.
It makes use of Pāṇinian roots to explain language in a GP/GM compatible way.
Assume that any NP consists of a root and an ethereal "noun aspect" (n), which, when mixed with the root, generates nouns. Similarily, you would have "verb-aspects" (v), which in correlation with the same root would generate verbs, and so forth.
To exemplify this, consider the most famous of roots, arabic √ktb.
From this root, you can synthesize the verb katab-a ("one writes"), or nouns such as kitab, ktib, and so forth.
What decides whether a verb or a noun falls out if you use √ktb to make words?
This is where the so called v and n come in: logically, n-aspect + √ generates an NP, v-aspect + √ a VP. I hope to hereby have somewhat, if in a very simplified manner, addressed the issue of what n-/v-aspects constitute in this context.

Now, assume that each of these two aspects is a bundle of binary tokens (vel "characteristics"), which can be set to influence the ultimate outcome. You might liken them to switches, or triggers. Once a trigger, or switch, is used, and set to a value, this will determine both the type of phrase that is synthesized, and certain characteristics thereof aswell.
Let me exemplify once more:
Consider the french root √sal. If (among other things) the binary token "gender" is set to -m (=female), you will receive the noun salle ("hall"). If the same token is set to +m (male), the root √sal will be aggrandized by an additional element (to discern it from the female form), and again you receive a noun, salon ("living room").
What purposes did the token gender (or: gender aspect, "g") herein serve?
1.) It contributed to the determination of the type noun. Nouns can be gendered, verbs can not. It therefore simplifies immediate distinction from other phrases with the same √.
2.) It contributed to the determination of the value. By having two differently-gendered nouns with different meanings, you can "recycle" the same √ for several words.
If you were to abolish this differentiation of gender, you therefore would no longer have a such extremely simple mechanism, which allows re-use of the same √ for several word types and meanings. The present state that allows for salle, salon, saler, sal to share the same √ would no longer be possible to be upheld, and you'd have to find 3 new roots for those words.
So, in summa, it makes sense for languages, which aim at re-use of roots, to incorporate some sort of gender, because you can quickly generate an enormous dictionary from a relatively small base set of roots.

10 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-03-17 21:11 ID:Heaven

The best I've be able to come up with is g-aspect -> gender (sex)
c-aspect -> class (in some languages you conjugate on class)?
NP -> noun phrase
Pāṇini was an ancient grammatician, google actually works in this case
GP/GM... generative phonology and morphology?

I get the idea of a root + something. -ness, -ly, etc
But not having gender doesn't preclude you from making more words from a root. You could even have the same system of endings without them being linked to specific genders.

11 Name: bubu : 2006-03-17 22:05 ID:Heaven



>noun phrase



Government Phonology

>I get the idea of a root + something. -ness, -ly, etc

almost. it's a bit more complex than that, but you used google successfully on Pāṇini already.

>But not having gender doesn't preclude you from making more words from a root.

Not preclude. Just makes it more restricted.

>You could even have the same system of endings without them being linked to specific genders.

yet gender adds a hilariously easy environment that helps with destroying ambiguity and crisis at a very effective rate.

12 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-03-18 07:14 ID:z/o+y1Ow

I actually am fond of the fact that some languages have a preference for non-gender specific pronouns.

13 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-03-22 20:12 ID:Heaven



14 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-07-01 05:54 ID:fKNkM5JI

Fula (aka Pela) has 16 genders, none of which are male or female. Each gender has anywhere from one to four different ways to decline the noun in that gender, and Adjectives must agree with the noun in gender and declension, yet that agreement does not look the same (as in Spanish, EL gatO rojO).

Essentially, grammatical gender has nothing to do with having a penis or a vagina (which is why one grammatically male wasp in a group of 100 women is a masculine group in French! EVEN if the wasp is female!)

This business about re-use of roots sounds rather suspect though. Grammatical gender in Indo-European languages is a result a 7000 year old legacy of dealing with the effects of speaking an active/stative langauge where active nouns were masculine, and everything else was stative and thus neuter, but non-count neuters could be active, and that gave rise to the Feminine. Of course, the active/stative was first, and with the loss of the active/stative aspect and the residual effects, there were now Masculine, Neuter and Feminine nouns.

English, thankfully lost both its declension and genders, and is doing just fine, thank you very much, AND has the largest vocabulary of all the languages in the world. We make plenty of re-use of roots, without any help from gender. In fact, our few remaining gendered terms are being used less and less.

15 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-07-13 09:11 ID:LfxyoLNp

Heh, learn Hungarian! :D
We don't use genders. We even don't distinguish pronouns like 'she' or 'he', we only have one for it that can be used either for male of female. So if you're fed up with genders, learn our language... and deal with the complex, postfix-based verb conjugation. :P

16 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-06-10 13:25 ID:2wBW830T

Us brave and mighty Finns have no need for sex [pun intented].
We have that person which could be male or female.

17 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-06-11 00:54 ID:0ShyBzQr

I wonder if that's common to Uralic languages?

18 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-06-16 05:09 ID:hbYoU/lg

Oddly enough, two of the most difficult languages in Europe have no genders.

As a second-language Spanish speaker, I found that gender really wasn't too much of a problem after a while. Of course, Spanish only has two (mostly), so I should try German or Polish or something before I make more of a judgement. ;)

19 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-06-16 16:06 ID:knTmg6AW

Or just learn Chinese (any variety, really), do away with grammatical gender and number, not to mention verb conjugation and noun inflection, and just deal with deadly word order.

20 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-06-17 04:48 ID:hbYoU/lg

So you're pretty much screwed with something with any language.

21 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-06-20 07:19 ID:E8zzh+Um

Any languages that's much different than your own, yes. Moving about the romance languages, for instance, isn't too bad, but taking a jump from, say, Spanish to Arabic will be tough.

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