Re: Indo-European Studies

@#$%!?! (
Fri, 28 Jul 1995 20:30:13 GMT

: Here's a thought: could the IE practice of associating particular genders
: to nouns be viewed as the result of a sort of linguistic syncretism, almost

In PIE the original distinction may have been this noun can be
agent::this noun cannot which later became animate::inanimate.
Femininity was indicated by a suffix -(e)A. Later animate and
animate+A were distinguished as masc::fem.

Once a noun acquires a gender, just as once a verb acquires
a declension, it tends to keep it even as the language evolves.

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