[b-greek] Re: Gender...What!?

From: Jonathan Robie (Jonathan.Robie@SoftwareAG-USA.com)
Date: Tue Mar 27 2001 - 17:43:25 EST

At 01:32 PM 3/27/2001 -0700, Wayne Leman wrote:

>It is the same with Greek. Words for biologically feminine entities (woman,
>girl, etc.) are grammatically feminine, and words for biologically masculine
>entities are grammatically masculine. But then there are many words for
>entities which have no biological gender which get assigned gender
>arbitrarily. At that point gender is simply grammatical, just as you
>correctly learned.

Even biologically feminine entities may become neuter in the face of
grammatical laws. For instance, a child, PAIS, may be either masculine or
feminine, depending on the child in question, but if you add a diminutive
ending to the child, making it a little PAIDION, then the gender becomes
neutral - but have no fear, this is purely grammatical, and no children
were harmed in making this grammatical form.

Are there any good examples of a feminine noun for something that is
biologically masculine, or vice versa?


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