Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Nov 6 14:01:00 UTC 2011

On Nov 6, 2011, at 8:40 AM, Ronald Butters wrote:

> I suspect that sensitivity about "moist" has been injected into the collective unconscious of American women as the indirect result of discomfort about menstruation and/or persperation.

And possibly as the less indirect result of discomfort about other exuded um... "juices" you delicately allude to below.


> Advertising has taught us that any juices (except maybe tears) exuded from our bodies are suspect, and women traditionally have continually been subject to warnings about their moistenings that men do not get nearly so forcefully. Pejoratively, women are "fish"; I can't think of any comparable disgusting term for men that is based on olfactory sensations, even though men are thought to fart and sweat more prodigiously than women (who in the old South did not seat, they merely glowed).
> On Nov 6, 2011, at 8:10 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> On Nov 6, 2011, at 1:14 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>> 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.
>> I remembering a talk by Roman Jakobson at the LSA Linguistic Institute in the summer of 1966 (UCLA) in which he tried to argue (I forget with how much success, although I wasn't in a good position to judge) that the gender of "sun" and "moon" in Romance vs. Slavic influenced depictions of the heavenly bodies in both poetry and the (well, he probably didn't use the term, but) collective unconscious of the peoples involved.
>> LH
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list