Patrick C. Ryan proto-language at
Fri Feb 5 21:45:55 UTC 1999

Dear Miguel, Sho, and IEists:

-----Original Message-----
From: Miguel Carrasquer Vidal <mcv at>
Date: Friday, February 05, 1999 11:24 AM

>Sho Sakuma <sean at> wrote:


>This use of different classifiers with different nouns is indeed
>similar to the concept of "gender" (animate/inanimate,
>masculine/feminine) or "noun classes" (Bantu being the best known
>example).  I don't think there's a meaningful answer as to why
>languages do this.  Some do, some don't.

I think the answer is very simply that classifiers and gender are simple
vocabulary building processes.

Without IE -*H(1)a, a completely new word for 'queen' would have had to have
been invented in Latin.


[ Moderator's query:
  Do you mean the a-coloring laryngeal, or the e/non-coloring laryngeal, above?
  --rma ]

More information about the Indo-european mailing list