Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 6 06:14:38 UTC 2011

On Sat, Nov 5, 2011 at 12:25 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> the reversed gender attributions in Old English

,,, are sheerest coincidence. And I manipulated the data somewhat.;-)
The fact that the moon was Masculine is out of step both with the
Classical languages and with the Romance languages. Furthermore, the
sun was Masculine _sunna_, Feminine _sunne_, and Neuter _sol_ in Old
English, though the Feminine was preferred. Masculine "moon" and
Feminine "sun" seems to be true, historically, at least, in all
Germanic and Baltic languages, whereas in the Slavic languages, _luna_
"moon" is Feminine, as in Greek, Latin, and Romance. However, _the
word for "sun" in Slavic , - e.g. Russian _solntse_ is Neuter. OTOH,
in Hebrew, both words are Masculine. And, very likely, there's a
language with grammatical gender in which both are Feminine and
another in which both are Neuter.


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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