On Tue, 5 Sep 2000, H. S. Teoh wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 05, 2000 at 04:45:53PM +0200, Mangiat wrote:
> [snip]
> > And about a IE-like 3-gender system: is it common, or a peculiarity of our
> > language-family? Are there other families with this kind of gender system?
> *Our* language family? *ahem*. Oh, you mean exclusive first person
> plural... ;-) (just kidding)


> English is the only language I'm fluent with that has gender built into
> it. (Well, I know some basic classical Greek, but I think others on this

Only in pronouns, isn't it?  Otherwise we don't have feminine/masculine
nouns and adjectives as in French, or feminine/masculine/neuter
nouns/attributive adjectives (someone correct me if I've screwed up) as
in German.

As far as I can tell from studying French and German, they sort of
arbitrarily assign grammatical genders.  If it's people you can usually
predict the grammatical gender in French, but a bit less so in German,
e.g. das Kind (child) and das Mädchen ("maiden"/young woman?  not sure
how to translate it properly) are neuter.  For most other things, while
there are trends (I think flowers are feminine usually in German, but I
could be badly wrong), you just have to memorize it.

Korean doesn't have grammatical gender even in pronouns (no "real" 3rd
person pronouns, but demonstratives used instead).

My current conlang doesn't use gender because I wanted to experiment with
case first.  :-)  I'd like to do a multi-gender system like that of
Swahili someday, though, because categorizing things and associated
culture-building sound like a lot of fun.