PIE gender

Glen Gordon glengordon01 at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 28 00:15:01 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.

Assumption? I'd like to know how the feminine gender can be supported as
an archaic feature of IE (Indo-Anatolian). It certainly existed in
Centum-Satem (Tonal IE).

>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 had the impression that this neuter pl was probably the source of the
new feminine gender. First, let's understand the "feminine" as simply a
second class of the "animate", unassociated with human gender. The
neuter plural could form derivatives, nyet? The "feminine" then was
simply a new animate class involving derivative nouns, only later
associated with the actual, physical feminine gender.

>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.

One may be able to easily find this neuter pl in Anatolian but was there
any inkling of a feminine sense to this ending? What about Latin
<agricola>, etc?

Glen Gordon
glengordon01 at hotmail.com

Kisses and Hugs

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