I've received a response from JDM, i *think* it was meant to be
posted publicly... so here it is...

--- In conlang@y..., James <Kvasir_postia@R...> wrote:
> well not a francophone here but it is my 3rd language...
> after all these years of learning french it can be almost natural to
> predict the gender of words... at least most of them. These are
SOME of the general patterns, but remember there are always
> exceptions!

But more in some patterns than others!

(As was mentioned earlier, the general rules is that masculines end
with consonants and feminines end with <e>... now of course if you
look at things like -age and -isme you'll see immediatelely that it's
not so simple)

> (what i've found is that it's much easier identifying fem. nouns)
> Masculine:
> -eau: le gateau, le cadeau, le bureau
> -ment: le département
> -in: le matin
> -age: le mariage; le visage
> -isme: le féminisme
> -re: le poivre

I'm not sure about listing -re. Of course with things like -isme and
poivre there's some sort of connection to the fact that they end with
two consonants and so orthographically require an <e>/

> Feminine
> -lle/-tte/-sse: la belle, la crevette, la fesse (hehe), la feuille

     The joke about fesse, for those of you who were wondering, is
that it means "buttock" or "spanking."
     Now there's a difference between belle and feuille in that the -
lle is pronounced [l] in belle but [j] in feuille. <lle> = [l] is
definitely feminine, but is <lle> = [j] always so? Those words always
annoyed me ;)

> -é: la beauté, la fierté

Better to say that -té is a feminine ending. -é preceded by other
letters is usually masculine, e.g. aimé, tué, reglé. The feminine
equivalent of the -é ending is of course -ée as in repartée.

> -euse: la danceuse
> -tion/-sion: la création, la pression

Someone asked for exceptions to this one, but I don't know any.

> -ie: la librarie, la fantasie
> -que/-gue: la fatique, la morgue

Errr... as I recall there are a lot of exceptions to this one, no?

>>la fesse (hehe)

>The joke I have missed here is what?


Yep, traditionally the word means buttock, but in colloquial
french "la fesse" comes to mean "ass" as well.

about the ones ending with -é, JDM mentioned aimé, tué and reglé
those are verb-turn-nouns, and therefore treated as masculine at
their basic noun forms.
for those of you who don't know what those words are:
(the) liked, (the) killed, (the) ruled.

hmmm at the moment i can't think of any exception to the -tion/-sion
rule either... anyone knows?

i've also forgot to mention the rules about assigning genders to
geographic entities. This is much easier to remember than other nouns
i think.

There is no definite article to be place in front of a city name so
you don't have to worry about the gender. But states, provinces,
rivers, islands, mountains all have gender. and then there are those
names that start with vowels and it doesn't matter what gender they
are really... :o) (l'Ontario, l'Espagne, l'Italie)

-All countries ends with -e
la France, la Chine, la Corée, la Nouvelle-Ecosse, la Californie, la
Seine, la Corse
exception: LE Mexique (there's at least one more exception out
there... can anyone recall?)

-All others
le Canada, le Pakistan, le Singapour, le Québec, le Kentucky, le
Mississippi, le Groenland

and don't forget the plural accord...
les Etats-Unis, les Pays-Bas, les Antilles, les Alps, les Grands-Lacs