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Philip Newton wrote:
> On 8/9/07, Scotto Hlad <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>>Regimonti has  Vèrbu (masculine) for "word" and went to  Vèrbe (feminine)
>>for "verb." I had a quick misalignment in my brain as I thought this through
>>making "word" feminine and "verb" masculine. That would have presented a bit
>>of a translation issue and a bigger theological issue (a feminine Christ). I
>>would have resolved it by using the masculine article "lu" with the feminine
>>form to preserve theology. I'm curious if there are any conlangs that have
>>"word" as a feminine noun and how this translation would follow particularly
>>in the light of what could become an heretical translation.
> 
> 
> Surely, languages in which all nouns have gender will have so many
> nouns of seemingly arbitrary gender that this is less likely to be a
> problem?

Quite so - like when a young French man calls his girlfriend "un ange" 
(an angel). Nor do the French consider that when a man becomes a 
guardsman (une sentinelle) he suddenly gets emasculated!

There was a time which I fondly remember, before the modern habit of 
using 'gender' as a euphemism for 'sex' (Why?), that one made a clear 
distinction between (biological) sex and (grammatical) gender.

> For example, I don't think that just because "das Wort" is neuter in
> German means that God is necessarily inanimate.

Indeed not, any more than the neuter _Verbum_ means that the Vulgate 
considers God is inanimate!!
------------------------------------

[log in to unmask] wrote:
 > In a message dated 8/10/2007 5:49:40 AM Central Daylight Time,
 > [log in to unmask] writes:
 >
 >
 >
 >>>For example, I don't think that just because "das Wort" is neuter in
 >>>German means that God is necessarily inanimate.
 >>>
 >>>Cheers,
 >>>--
 >>>Philip Newton <[log in to unmask]>
 >>
 >>Italian uses a feminine word for "word": parola.
 >>
 >>Nel principio era la Parola, e la Parola era con Dio, e la Parola era 
Dio.

Yep - and the Eastern Church has traditionally honored Christ as _hee 
Hagia Sophia_ (The Holy Wisdom - feminine) - that, of course, was the 
dedication of the most important church of the Greek Orthodox until its 
capture by the Turks in 1453.

 >
 > It would be more of an issue if the word for "God" were not masculine.

True.

 > Is
 > this the case in any language with genders?

In Greek, in fact, it's epicene. One can say _hee theos_ (the goddess) 
or _ho theos_ (the god). But the New Testament always uses masculine 
agreement with 'Theos'.

But, hey, what's all the fuss about? Read what Paul wrote to the 
Christians in Galatia: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither 
slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all 
one in Christ Jesus" [Gal. 3:28].

Now, for those who like to speculate and/or meditate on things 
spiritual, in Aramaic (the language Jesus & the apostle spoke) and in 
the Semitic languages generally, the Holy Spirit is feminine (and, in 
Greek, neuter). But I think this is not the forum in which to pursue 
such matters - so just meditate upon it in silence (always a good idea 
IMHO) and we'll get on with conlanging.

-- 
Ray
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-- 
Ray
==================================
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http://www.carolandray.plus.com
==================================
Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
There's none too old to learn.
[WELSH PROVERB]