Gender

Chuck Tripp ctripp at ptialaska.net
Thu May 9 02:09:18 EDT 2002


This principal  of gender often having nothing supposed maleness or
femalnessof a thing  was brought home to me when I was learning French a
number of years ago, imagine my shock when I discovered that 'vagin' (female
sex organ) is masculin!!  In my experience, even if an english speaker gets
the accent nailed down perfect, he can still easily betray the fact that the
language is not his native language by confusing the gender of a word
because it will sound funny to the native speaker, like someone singing off
key.

Chuck Tripp
Kodiak, Alaska
----- Original Message -----
From: Lyle E. & Christine A. Buettner <buettner at mcleodusa.net>
To: Biblical Greek <b-greek at franklin.metalab.unc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 4:27 PM
Subject: [b-greek] Re: Gender


> Robert,
>
> In addition to what Carl has said, you may want to look at this book
(albeit
> old).
> Brugmann, Karl. _The Nature and Origin of the Noun Genders in the
> Indo-European Languages_. New York : Scribner, 1897.
>
> Lyle E. Buettner
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
> To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> Cc: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 5:27 AM
> Subject: [b-greek] Re: Gender
>
>
> > At 10:56 PM -0400 5/7/02, Robert Dyson wrote:
> > >I am a new student of Koine Greek.  I am having problems
> > >understanding the gender. I have been told that masculine does not
> > >mean male or feminine does not mean female.
> > >
> > >Please explain.
> > >
> > >*Robert Dyson [New subscribers please note that B-Greek protocol
> > >requires a full-name signature to be appended to messages sent
> > >to the list.]
> >
> > You might almost do better to think of "masculine," "feminine" and
> "neuter"
> > genders in Greek as "A," "B," and "C" genders--if the adjectives
> > "masculine," "feminine" and "neuter" are going to confuse you. Gender is
> > not a matter of biology or cultural roles but rather of grammatical
> > agreement: "masculine" nouns require "masculine" forms of the article
and
> > of adjectives and have to be represented (normally) by masculine
> > pronouns--and similarly "feminine" and "neuter" nouns reqire "feminine"
> and
> > "neuter" forms respectively.
> >
> > While masculine and feminine human persons and their names are almost
> > always distinctly in the "masculine" and "feminine" gender, yet there
are
> > striking exceptions: TEKNON and PAIDION are neuter nouns, each meaning
> > "child," KORASION is a noun for "little girl" in the Greek NT, and it
too
> > is neuter.
> >
> > But there are far more nouns in Greek that don't refer to male or female
> > human persons at all--and they all fall into one of the three gender
> > categories and require adjectives, articles, and pronouns referring to
> them
> > to be in their own appropriate gender. QALASSA ("sea") is feminine,
while
> > PONTOS (also meaning "sea") is masculine: that doesnt mean that THE SEA
> was
> > thought of by the Greeks either as a male or as a female.
> >
> > So: when nouns and names refer to human persons (or animals) they do
tend
> > to take the gender corresponding to the sexual gender of the person (or
> > animal)--but they don't always do that without exception, and nouns and
> > names referring to inanimate things do all have masculine, feminine, or
> > neuter gender--as the case may be--but should NOT be thought of as
"male,"
> > "female," or "sexless."
> > --
> >
> > Carl W. Conrad
> > Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
> > Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
> > cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
> > WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/
> >
> > ---
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> >
> >
>
>
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