From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Jan 31 2000 - 06:19:28 EST

At 10:51 PM -0500 1/30/00, wrote:
>I would like to know if anyone know the origin of the reason for the gender
>of nouns. Many times there seems to me that there is no rhyme nor reason. I
>am sure this has been addressed many times but I am not able to keep up with
>all of the b-greek issues.

This has been addressed from time to time. One thing that has to be
realized is that, except for those nouns that really do refer to male or
female persons or creatures, the gender of nouns in Greek (and in many
other languages) has nothing to do with sexual gender at all but is
arbitrary and traditional and is fundamentally a matter of what kinds of
adjectives can/must be used with the nouns; that is to say, it is a
grammatical or morphological category that has no necessary relationship to
gender roles of men and women.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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