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Re: Gender in language (was Re: way-OT: regularity of german v. english [was: <snip>])

Ron Johnson wrote:
Being a native speaker of American, I've always wondered
- What is the purpose of "gender" in grammar/language?

as far as I can tell there's no purpose (not a linguist but my native language has genders, can't find any reason other then that it has genders:-)

- Is it only the European/Latinate languages that have the gender

lot of them has the same gender concept: all slavic languages (russian, ukrainian, polish, slovak, czech, bulgarian, most (all?) languages in former yugoslavia etc.), I know spanish (more relevant since you ask about latin languages) has genders...

btw your european/latin seems to imply that european languages are latin languages, that's not the case...

- Why English doesn't have gender, since it's predecessor, German,
  does have gender?

looks like a lot of unneccessary stuff was removed from english language (last century or two?), as far as I can tell it's because it's used as a non-native language for pragmatic purposes (i.e. as long as the message gets accross it's all good:-)


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