Re: [mythsoc] Re: Louis Markos's petition about The C. S. Lewis Bible: wifman
- Darrell, wifman declines as a grammatically masculine noun because in Indo-European languages in general compound nouns decline according to the declension of the second element of the compound. "mann" is a grammatical masculine, so wifman will decline that way too. By the way, even when "mann" in Old English refers to a female human being, it is still grammatically masculine. The principle meaning of "mann" is human being, just as in Latin the principle meaning of homo is human being though it is often used as if meaning the same as vir or in Greek the principle meaning of anthrwpos is also human being, though again often used to signify a male person or persons. Thus, "wifman" simply means woman, a female human, not anything as convoluted or confused as "wifish sort of man".--Larry Swain
On Wed, 20 Apr 2011 17:49 -0500, "Darrell A. Martin" <darrellm@...> wrote:
On 4/20/2011 5:07 PM, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
> As a _linguist_, I reject the notion that the words "man", "mankind", "men", "he", "his", etc. are always exclusive of women. These are also the historical English forms used when no sex is specified, in addition of course to when the male sex is specifically intended (with context making the meaning clear when necessary). When used generically, these terms were not regarded as "exclusive" until very recent times, when certain parties ignorant (or disdainful) of the history of the English language began to assert that they referred solely to the male sex. I personally refuse to accept their assertion, and prefer Bibles (and other texts) that likewise refuse to accept this manufactured linguistic novelty and the unlovely verbal contortions it imposes.
Can't say "woman" because, well, it contains "man".
That doesn't work because it contains "son".
"Woperdaughter" -- OK, now I think we have it. But I shudder to think
what the worn down form of the word might be in a few centuries.
P.S. It is my understanding that the forerunner of "woman", the
Anglo-Saxon "wifman", was declined as a masculine noun because
(grammatically speaking) it was handled as though it meant "a wifeish
sort of man". Or something like that.
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- Diana Glyer doesn't usually take part on this list but she has taught Inklings courses as well as dedicated JRRT and CSL courses. I would think her book, The Company They Keep, might be an interesting tool in the case of an Inklings course...
-- Lynn --
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Larry Swain" <theswain@...> wrote:
> On Thu, 21 Apr 2011 13:30 -0700, "dale nelson"
> <extollager2006@...> wrote:
> >>Larry, Till We Have Faces always goes over well in my British
> Novel course. The other authors have been BrontÃ«'s Jane Eyre,
> Dickens (Bleak House or Our Mutual Friend), perhaps Gaskell
> (Wives and Daughters), Conrad (The Secret Agent), etc. The
> authors are all interested in families -- or the absence
> thereof. TWHF works well as a novel about a family (as Lewis
> Thanks for all the responses! I've taught various Lewis and Tolkien
> texts, more Tolkien than other though. I've taught "Tolkien and LoTR:
> Influences and Influence" which I confess I used as a tie in to Medieval
> literature with brief forays into Classical literature (Odyssey Bk XI,
> Aeneid Book 6, some Hesiod), and two or three dashes of examining
> modern, post-Tolkien, Tolkien-inspired Medievalisms. Then there was the
> Understanding Literature course which I cheated and made all about Epic
> literature reading the Odyssey, Aeneid, Beowulf, selections of Dante and
> Milton, and the last half of the class was LoTR. Another version of the
> Understanding Literature course was on the themes of journey in which
> The Hobbit and Out of the Silent Planet played a part. This last fall I
> taught a course called British and World Prose, subtitled Old Tales
> Retold: the first half of the semester was the three I mentioned:
> Hobbit, Till We Have Faces, and Once and Future King.
> I haven't done a course just on "Inklings" or "Inklings and Friends (so
> I could include Sayers and/or Chesterton among others).
> I have also used Lewis and Tolkien's scholarship: again here Tolkien
> more than Lewis. I routinely use Tolkien's translations of Pearl, Sir
> Gawain, and Sir Orfeo; and I routinely use Tolkien's translation of
> Exodus. I'd love to use his Beowulf but must content myself with
> selections from Monsters and the Critics. From Lewis the two works that
> continue to stand the test of time are Discarded Image and Allegory of
> Love. While the latter has been bypassed in many ways, it remains a
> good introduction to Romance lit.
> While I've read most of Williams, I've yet to include him in a course.
> And I've read very little Barfield. I don't teach the period, but
> Warney's books I've always found a very nice read and have recommended
> them a few times to the curious.
> Larry Swain
> http://www.fastmail.fm - mmm... Fastmail...