[b-hebrew] Gesenius on Femininity
peter at qaya.org
Mon Sep 25 17:00:56 EDT 2006
On 25/09/2006 19:03, Chris and Nel wrote:
> Peter, surely you can not be serious? ...
I am absolutely serious. 19th century scholars like Gesenius speculated
about reasons for grammatical gender, but 20th century linguists
realised that, although there may be some explanation lost in the depths
of time, the grammatical gender assignments of words without "natural
gender" can only be treated as arbitrary.
> ... 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?
No. Your intuitions on this are better than the outmoded ones of Gesenius.
E-mail: peter at qaya.org
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