LINGUIST List 14.3280

Fri Nov 28 2003

Disc: Re: Grammatical Gender

Editor for this issue: Sarah Murray <>


  1. Chalk, Neil, RE: 14.3254, Disc: Grammatical Gender

Message 1: RE: 14.3254, Disc: Grammatical Gender

Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 15:45:08 -0000
From: Chalk, Neil <>
Subject: RE: 14.3254, Disc: Grammatical Gender

Karen Stanley's made the comment on the grammatical gender question
"[I wondered] where the concept of nouns as having *gender* (versus
simply being in different categories, or being different classes of
noun) originated." (Linguist 14.3254)

Could this possibly be answered by the early western linguists being
educated in Latin and the status Latin had as a 'High' language. Then
as new material became available early linguists tried to fit other
languages into the Latin model.

So their world view could continue to bias inexperienced linguists via
the terminology used even today.

This is pure conjecture of course; perhaps someone who knows about the
history of linguistics has more insight?

Neil Chalk

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