From: Steven Cox (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Apr 03 1998 - 07:13:48 EST
At 12:05 98/04/02 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>Why is "brethren" really any more "gender-neutral" than "brothers"?
>Personally I wouldn't hesitate to use "brothers and sisters," because my
>understanding of the usage is that the masculine word is intended to be
>inclusive in the Greek.
Whoops Sorry Carl. (Lesson: read all the in-box first before
flipping off a comment or you might end up plagiarising
The objection to "brothers and sisters" is usually made on
grounds of being 'too cumbersome' to have three words always
but it is normal practice with some North Asian languages
with a lot of binary character vocabulary to automatically
think of rendering one word => two/three/four in English.
As a really wild comment English does seem to be at the extreme
end of the gender fixation table (what does that tell you about
Anglo-Saxons?).[In the table N = No gender differentiation
when referencing ADELFOI, Y = Yes differs, *=if older sibling
only, **=not sure if Geschwister is still used these days?]
Indonesian Vietnamese b-Greek German English
M sg N Y* Y Y Y
F sg N Y* Y Y Y
M pl N N N Y Y
MF pl N N N N** Y
F pl N N Y Y Y
(The above is obviously a gross simplification).
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