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Gender Studies

Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:54 am
by bnjtokyo
Someone writing for the New York Times has got their knickers in a twist about gender in language in general and French in particular.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/opin ... ctionfront
The Times (perhaps wisely) has not enabled comments for this piece, but I would have liked to direct people's attention to Dr. Goodword's comments on grammatical gender and how it should not be (dare I say it) politicised. See "He, She, It and They" in Dr Goodword's Office
https://www.alphadictionary.com/article ... gular.html

Although masculine, feminine and neuter are widely used terms for a system of noun categories in Indo-European languages, there are in fact other ways to split things up. Although no one actually knows, Wikipedia says expert opinion holds that Proto-Indo-European probably had two genders: animate and neuter. On the other hand, Bantu languages (e.g. Swahili) have 20 noun classes that function as gender classes do in European languages.