[LMB] OT: Language changes

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Thu Sep 23 19:28:45 BST 2021


The grammatical concept of 'gender' doesn't have anything to do with sex,
and linguistic gender is sometimes arbitrary.

Having arbitrary gender seems to have persisted because it significantly
increases the chances that multiple entities referred to with pronouns will
use different forms, making it easier to distinguish what's being
discussed.  Otherwise there's not much point to it - English eliminated
gender for anything but living beings* even though the languages it
developed from had extensive gender and case systems.

*And certain personified objects in specific categories and usages, but
those are weird exceptions.

Matt G.


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