Why languages have genders for still life as male, female or neutral?

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  1. profile image50
    paarsurreyposted 14 years ago

    http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/42904?p … ost1017700
    Hi friend Faybe Bay

    I agree with you. Have you any thoughts as to why the languages have genders for the still life as male, female or neutral.


    I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim

    Faybe Bay wrote:

    In reality I have no clue. I was told that soft was generally a requisite for feminine, hard for masculine. I have also been told it have too do with shape, or aparatus. Windows did not used to close, doors did. Window would be open open is soft, soft is feminine.
    Door was masculine, doors close, hard, masculine.

    La Pluma, used to be feathers (plumes) were pens. Plumes were soft so pen is feminine. Peso was made of metal (oro is gold also metal) Metal is hard, masculine.

    That all makes sense, but whether that is the truth is not within my scope of knowledge.

  2. IzzyM profile image86
    IzzyMposted 14 years ago

    I think all European languages except English have masculine/feminine attributes to objects. I've no idea why although what Faybe says makes sense.
    I used to have fun thinking what the men get attributed to and what the women get in Spanish. Examples.
    wine - el vino
    car - el coche
    cigarette - el cigarillo
    glass - el vaso
    sex - el sexo

    women get
    table - la mesa
    chair - la silla
    lager - la cerveza
    drugs - las drugas
    beds - las camas
    naturally, the pregnant and barefoot woman is tied to la cocina (kitchen)

    List goes on. I have asked the Spanish why, but they just say it just is. Accept it.

    1. spirituality profile image58
      spiritualityposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Actually, Dutch also no longer has masculine/femine. Instead we have 'het' (neutral) and 'de' (male/female - officially).

      As to WHY... good question. I guess it's historical, as in way at the beginning of people starting to talk. People tend to make things personal anyhow (do YOU talk to your pc?), so it's not that big of stretch to make inanimate things have gender.

  3. blue parrot profile image59
    blue parrotposted 13 years ago

    I can read German, French, and Spanish, and they all have genders for objects, and in German there are even genders for people:

    Frau means woman and is feminine;
    Fräulein means unmarried young lady and is neutral;
    Kind means child and is neutral:
    Knabe means boy and is masculin;
    Mädchen means girl and is neutral.

    And all objects have a gender. There is a famous essay by Mark Twain. Its title is The Awful German Language. It is free online and very funny for he turned the nonsense into a short story.

    Regen means rain and is masculine;
    Strasse means street and is feminine;
    Pult menas desk and is neutral;

    Yet it is  misleading to look for an intention in these gender rules. There is nothing. In Spanish they are 99% dependent on the ending of a word. If it ends in an -a, it is feminine.

    No, it is really not poetic, not trying to put life into objects.


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