Thursday, September 29, 2005


Gender bender

Ruth Walker, a language columnist with Christian Science Monitor, has an interesting article on the uses of gender.

A few things I learned:

1. Bengali does not have gender-specific pronouns.
2. "The Algonquian languages divide nouns into "animate" and "inanimate" – and they consider raspberries to be animate and strawberries inanimate."
3. Aboriginal languages of Australia have four classes: men and animate things; women, fire, and dangerous things; edible fruits and vegetables; and miscellaneous things. Airplane, by the way, gets the vegetable gender.

i could also never understand how inanimate things get the male and female gender in Hindi wonder, South Indians find it difficult to get the genders right when speaking in Hindi! :)
I am a classic example of that :)
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