RE: Gender in language (was Re: way-OT: regularity of german v. e nglish [was: <snip>])
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ron Johnson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Thursday, 23 October 2003 1:55 PM
> To: Debian-User
> Subject: Gender in language (was Re: way-OT: regularity of
> german v. english [was: <snip>])
> On Wed, 2003-10-22 at 20:47, Erik Steffl wrote:
> > Nori Heikkinen wrote:
> > > on Sun, 19 Oct 2003 12:38:45PM -0700, Erik Steffl insinuated:
> > ...
> > >> of course, you can create various complex and ambiguous
> > >>in
> > >>english, the point is that you can take few forms of sentences and
> > >>have a working language (that's pretty much what BASIC (talking
> > >>about programming language) is).
> > >
> > > you can do that in both languages.
> > let's say you have a function called isRed(x) (returns
> true if x is
> > red). Now how would you call this function in german? it
> would never be
> > in agreement with all possible x (grammatically). not sure
> if this is
> > the best example - perhaps in this case it would be
> acceptable to use
> > istRot, regardless of gender of x. point is you would run
> into problems
> > like this trying to use german, you would very rarely come up with
> > problems of this nature in english...
> Being a native speaker of American, I've always wondered
> - What is the purpose of "gender" in grammar/language?
> - Is it only the European/Latinate languages that have the gender
> - Why English doesn't have gender, since it's predecessor, German,
> does have gender?
Certainly the Angles, Saxons and Jutes were germanic tribes, but I'm not
sure they used the language we know as German.
Both the Romans and the French conquered England and heavily influenced the
language later on too.