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The situation in modern Icelandic is similarly complicated.  The default
words are:

_kona_ (gen. _kvenna_) "female human being"
_karl_ "male human being"
_maDur_ (acc. _mann_) "human being, person"

More technical terms are thus:

_kvenmaDur_ "female person"
_karlmaDur_ "male person"

But at the same time _maDur_ is assumed by default to refer to a male
person, although it is less of a synonym of _karl_ than it used to be in
the Old language.


At 12:13 2001-09-23 -0400, Sally Caves wrote:
>Speaking of "breasted male,"  which I take to mean
>"breasted human being" in your language (?), the
>derivation of "woman" in Old English is _wyfman_,
>"female man."  The word "man" simply meant
>human being.  It was coopted, of course, to mean
>"human male," but the word that designated "human
>male" in Aelfric's time was _wer_, not _mann_.  The
>words for the sexes used continuously by Aelfric:
>
>     wifhades, werhades:  "female," "male."
>
>So when Eufrasia (i.e. Euphrosyne) of the Saints Tale
>in Old English was discovered after her death to be
>a woman and not a monk (she had disguised herself
>as a monk in order to live the life of a holy man), they
>spoke of her reverently as a _wifhades man_, "a person/
>man of the female sex."


/BP 8^)>
--
B.Philip Jonsson mailto:[log in to unmask] (delete X)
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