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Robert Hailman wrote:
> We known languages can aquire gender, but in the case of Yanyula these
> distinctions existed in other languages. For a similar process to occur
> in our techno-speak, the techo-genders would have to exist in another
> language. Maybe a scientific auxlang or something...

But the point is, at some point, some language somewhere in the region
had to develop gender.  That system of genders was diffusing outwards.
Presumably, perhaps a few centuries ago, a language evolved gender all
by itself, then its neighbors borrowed that, and their neighbors in turn
borrowed it, and so on.

Why are you so insistent on those genders being artificial?  "Long,
narrow things" sounds pretty artificial to me, yet is attested in the
Bantu family.  I see no reason why gender can't evolve all by itself
with no influence from neighbors.  The development of something like
that on its own is probably pretty rare, but I doubt that its unknown -
if it were, then surely languages would be less diverse than they are.
Spontaneous changes must've occurred in the past to explain the enormous
variety we see.  Otherwise, languages would tend to become more and more
like each other, as they borrow features from each other, which does
happen, of course.  But occasionally, new constructions spontaneously
come into existence, and then they can spread outwards if the need is
perceived, or the speakers of the language with that new feature enjoy
some kind of prestige.

--
"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men
believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of
the city of God!" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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wawailáv ku suslawayástantu ku usfunufilpyasváditanva wafpatilikániv
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