[b-hebrew] Gesenius on Femininity

Chris and Nel wattswestmaas at eircom.net
Mon Sep 25 14:03:55 EDT 2006

Peter, surely you can not be serious?  It SEEMS arbitrary and that is why I
asked.  I had always thought that apart from the obvious male/female
associations the rest is just accident, but it seems quite clear that
accident has nothing to do with it, it may appear accident, but I think that
Gesenius has a point, you don't think so?

Regards Chris

25 sept Peter Kirk replied:

> This is not how language works. In any language with grammatical gender,
> the gender of many nouns is entirely arbitrary and no significance can
> be derived from it at all.
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
> Blog:    http://speakertruth.blogspot.com/
> Website: http://www.qaya.org/

On 23/09/2006 19:39, Chris and Nel wrote:

> Gesenius makes some interesting observations about the purpose of a noun
> being in the feminine:  "Indication of the gender of the noun" page 411
> (1898 edition).
> This got me thinking about a few words that had no apparent reason for
> being
> in the feminine.  One such word was the obvious -- Torah.  And so I wonder
> whether there would be agreement to the following 'idea' (based on
> Gesenius's reasoning) that while this concept was masterful, strong,
> dominant and hence a masculine ideal; it is rather by absolute contrast a
> productive, sustaining, nourishing concept! and hence feminine.  (All this
> assuming that Torah is understood along the lines that it means nore
> teaching and guiding and instruction rather than the negative concept of
> 'Law' as assumed in some circles)
> What are your thoughts on this?

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