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Re: Dimorphic conlang?

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  • Andreas Johansson
    ... My Kalini Sapak (which I ve essentially given up working on) has verbs agreeing in gender with the subject. Does that count? It marks gender in all persons
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 2, 2005
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      Quoting "Joseph a.k.a Buck" <zhosh@...>:

      > Have any of the conlangers here ever developed a language wherein a sentient
      > species' physiological or social dimorphism was reflected in the language in
      > other than a minor way (e.g. m/f manifesting as specifically male pronouns &
      > female pronouns?

      My Kalini Sapak (which I've essentially given up working on) has verbs agreeing
      in gender with the subject. Does that count? It marks gender in all persons and
      numbers of pronouns. (Yes, there's a neuter 1st sg.)

      Andreas
    • Patrick Littell
      ... Hmm, you mean like, say, sentient walruses or elephant seals labeling everything (relatively) small as feminine and things that are downright huge as
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 2, 2005
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        On Apr 2, 2005 1:30 PM, Joseph a.k.a Buck <zhosh@...> wrote:
        > Have any of the conlangers here ever developed a language wherein a sentient
        > species' physiological or social dimorphism was reflected in the language in
        > other than a minor way (e.g. m/f manifesting as specifically male pronouns &
        > female pronouns?
        >

        Hmm, you mean like, say, sentient walruses or elephant seals labeling
        everything (relatively) small as feminine and things that are
        downright huge as masculine? Noun classes by weight: everything less
        than 4,000 pounds is feminine by default.

        Or sentient cats or somesuch using the feminine as a respect marker?
        Like a wise tom referred to as "she" out of respect. ;)

        [These are probably answers to some question unrelated to the one
        you're asking, but once I latch onto a tangent I cannot be
        stopped!...]

        Or, for seriously eusocial species, like sentient bees or ants, a
        three-gender system for drones, workers, and queens. (And no plural
        of queen :) In less eusocial species, specific genders for maters and
        non-maters. In sentient wolves, four genders: masculine, feminine,
        alpha-masculine, and alpha-feminine.

        Along the same lines as the elephant seals: An avian race categorizing
        all brightly-colored things as masculine, and all monochrome, brown,
        or drab-colored things as feminine. (Mandrills, too!)

        [Back on topic... in Le Guin's "The Left Hand of Darkness", the
        hermaphroditic natives are always neuter except when they're in
        estrus, in which case they gain the pronoun for whichever sex they've
        assumed. Although "perverts" -- those "stuck" in one sex, like the
        narrator, a Terran male -- get these pronouns all the time.]

        In butterflies, genders of age (larval, pupoid, adult) as well as (or
        instead of) those of sex. For species with female polymorphism like
        the Papilionidae, more than one feminine adult gender. In neotenic
        species, like the "Trilobite larva" Duliticola paradoxa: larval
        masculine, pupoid masculine, adult masculine, and larval feminine.

        Err... I'm done now.


        --
        Patrick Littell
        PHIL205: MWF 2:00-3:00, M 6:00-9:00
        Voice Mail: ext 744
        Spring 05 Office Hours: M 3:00-6:00
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      • Geoff Horswood
        On Sun, 3 Apr 2005 00:23:33 -0500, Patrick Littell ... sentient ... language in ... pronouns & ... ... [snip] Ha ha! _Very_ cool! I ll
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 3, 2005
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          On Sun, 3 Apr 2005 00:23:33 -0500, Patrick Littell <puchitao@...>
          wrote:

          >On Apr 2, 2005 1:30 PM, Joseph a.k.a Buck <zhosh@...> wrote:
          >> Have any of the conlangers here ever developed a language wherein a
          sentient
          >> species' physiological or social dimorphism was reflected in the
          language in
          >> other than a minor way (e.g. m/f manifesting as specifically male
          pronouns &
          >> female pronouns?
          >>
          >
          >Hmm, you mean like, say, sentient walruses or elephant seals labeling
          >everything (relatively) small as feminine and things that are
          >downright huge as masculine? Noun classes by weight: everything less
          >than 4,000 pounds is feminine by default.
          >
          ...
          [snip]

          Ha ha! _Very_ cool! I'll have to maybe try something along those lines
          when I work on my Elvish language (I'm thinking of giving my elves a
          eusocial ant/bee/termite-derived structure, btw, just to mess around with
          the pillars of Received Fantasy Stereotype!)!

          Geoff
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