PIE gender

manaster at umich.edu manaster at umich.edu
Sat Feb 20 02:17:46 UTC 1999

There has been some discusion here of the (assumed) fact that
the feminine gender is an innovation, and one not shared by
the Anatolian lgs.  However, there is one thing that has long
troubled me in this connection.  There is a fact that seems
to argue that the feminine was quite old, viz.,that some
languages use neuter pl. for a group consisting of a
masculine and a feminine.  I don't now recall which lgs
these are, but as I recall this is recognized as an archaic
feature.  (I do know that it survives in some Slavic lgs,
incl. Polish, but apparently not Russian).  I recall once
trying to get an Anatolianist to make sure that this rule
does NOT leave any traces in Anatolian, for if it did, then
we would have a very good argument FOR feminine in PIE, but
I never got the answer.   AMR

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