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  1. #31
    Tullia's Avatar
    Tullia is offline Senior Member
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      • English Teacher
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    Default Re: the mystery of gender

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I have often wondered about this, and found no real help anywhere. Could it be simply that the labels 'masculine, 'feminine' and 'neuter' are causing the problem?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/ma...general&src=me

    Someone linked me to this the other day; I've been meaning to come and find this thread and post it ever since.

    It's not the most in-depth article, but quite interesting anyway.

  2. #32
    Slot is offline Newbie
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      • Interested in Language
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    Default Re: the mystery of gender

    I hope this post isn't pushing the limits of thread zombieism or going way beyond.

    It's been years since I read it, but if I recall correctly, Mario Pei's The Story of English mentions the gender conundrum and its loss in English. I don't think he had an explanation, either.

    I did find this:
    "Richard Krause recalls that 'in Old English (Anglo-Saxon), adjectives agreed with their nouns in gender, number and case'. He also claims that 'Adjectival gender, number and case inflections were probably lost in conjunction with the elimination of noun gender and the accompanying major reduction in case inflections. These major modifications of the English grammatical system probably arose as a result of the Viking settlements and especially the Norman conquest. . . ."
    I can't link yet: linguistlist[dot]org[slash]issues[slash]8[slash]8-342[dot]html

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