Re: Gender in language (was Re: way-OT: regularity of german v. english [was: <snip>])
On Fri, Oct 24, 2003 at 11:56:09AM -0700, Erik Steffl wrote:
> Nori Heikkinen wrote:
> >on Fri, 24 Oct 2003 12:52:10AM +0100, Pigeon insinuated:
> >>Argh, this does my head in too. Especially when you come across
> >>things like all the words for female genitals in lots of languages
> >>having the masculine gender. Work that one out.
> >yeah, or a fork being feminine, spoon being masculine, and knife being
> >neuter in german. lots of weird ones like that.
> why do you find it weird? genders are pretty much random
But in German they can be plain perverse:
weiblich=feminine because something feminine is like a woman (=Weib)
maennlich=masculine because something masculine is like a man (=Mann)
saechlich=neuter because something neuter is like a thing (=Sache)
The only problem is that Weib is a neuter word and Sache feminine.