Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 50

Thread: Natural and grammatical gender

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Slovakia
    Native language
    Hungarian
    Posts
    4,952

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavril View Post
    I tried to confirm whether guardia had flexible gender ... and RAE doesn't list guardia as meaning "individual guard" at all except in specific phrases like guardia civil.
    From DRAE:
    com. Individuo de este cuerpo.(i.e. de guardia civil)
    com. Individuo que pertenece a este cuerpo. (i.e. guardia municipal)

    com - nombre común en cuanto al género

    P.S. I think these examples are enough for our purposes, as I don't think (maybe I am wrong ...) that a common Spaniard, before using the noun guardia, will try to verify if he/she is really a member of the guardia civil or municipal, and nothing else ...
    Last edited by francisgranada; 12th April 2014 at 7:51 PM. Reason: Added P.S., typo

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ciudad del paraíso
    Native language
    Spanish-Spain
    Age
    55
    Posts
    1,982

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavril View Post
    I tried to confirm whether guardia had flexible gender, but for some reason, WR's Spanish-English dictionary only lists it as "nm" (masculine) rather than "nmf" (masc. or fem.), and RAE doesn't list guardia as meaning "individual guard" at all except in specific phrases like guardia civil
    [...]
    Because the "correct" word to denote a person is GUARDA (marked com. in the DRAE, that is, both femenine and masculine); however, GUARDIA has conquered this meaning, too, and the RAE has finally acknowledged that fact (see http://lema.rae.es/drae/?val=guardia "Artículo enmendado").

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Native language
    English, USA
    Posts
    4,776

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by francisgranada View Post
    From DRAE:
    com. Individuo de este cuerpo.(i.e. de guardia civil)
    com. Individuo que pertenece a este cuerpo. (i.e. guardia minucipal)
    [SIZE=1][I]
    com - nombre común en cuanto al género
    Yes, just as I wrote, DRAE acknowledges specific phrases like guardia civil / municipal etc. in which guardia means "(individual) guard" and has flexible gender, but it doesn't list this meaning among the basic definitions at the start of the entry (except in the amended version of the entry, which I didn't see at first).

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Native language
    French (France)
    Posts
    3,243

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender


  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    France
    Native language
    AmE
    Age
    39
    Posts
    5,588

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by francisgranada View Post
    I think I understand CapnPrep's explanation (#5), however spontaneousely I would surely say il signor guardia (speaking about a man) even in honorific meaning, because signore is not an adjetive that has to match the grammatical gender of the following noun. I can hardly imagine, for example, il signor giudice instead of la signora giudice when speaking about a woman (giudice masc. = judge) ...
    For the moment, il signor guardia and la signora giudice are considered incorrect in Italian, but since some speakers find the correct forms awkward, the standard usage may change (or people may just decide that neither signore nor signora can be used appropriately in such contexts). Who knows?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lugubert View Post
    Swedish academia often refers to some professor emerita, which I regard as a newfangled hybrid. If you today want to change Latin, why not use professora emerita (or whatevs, I know not to next no Latin).
    Of the two, professor emerita is in fact the more conservative solution, since it is very common for Latin 3rd declension forms to be epicene. Latin does not have a rule of creating feminine forms by adding -a to a 3rd declension masculine (and turning it into a 1st declension form), and that is what you would need to create professora.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Germany
    Native language
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Posts
    1,235

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Is there a rule how to form feminine counterparts to words ending in -or? If it's -tor, it's (almost) always -trix, but what if the masculine form is somewhat irregular like in professor?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Native language
    French (France)
    Posts
    3,243

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnPrep View Post
    professor emerita
    We had this discussion before, with all the same arguments:

    http://forum.wordreference.com/showt...hlight=emerita

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    France
    Native language
    AmE
    Age
    39
    Posts
    5,588

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelo di fuoco View Post
    Is there a rule how to form feminine counterparts to words ending in -or? If it's -tor, it's (almost) always -trix, but what if the masculine form is somewhat irregular like in professor?
    Most supinum stems in -s simply admit no feminine agent noun… See e.g. A&G 236.
    Quote Originally Posted by fdb View Post
    We had this discussion before, with all the same arguments:
    But it's actually on-topic in this thread (by which I mean it totally ignores the original topic in the same way as most of the other replies ).
    Last edited by CapnPrep; 13th April 2014 at 2:38 AM.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Native language
    Srpski
    Posts
    170

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    In Serb/Cro/Bos I can only think of one case, midwife (primalja, babica). A male nurse working in that field would always be referred to in female form because there is no male form.

    There are a few cases of grammatically feminine nouns that are used for both males and females. One examples is a word for a tradesman (zanatlija). This word is grammatically feminine but naturally genderless or even masculine since tradesmen are mostly men.
    Last edited by thegreathoo; 13th April 2014 at 12:33 PM.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Northwestern Ontario
    Native language
    Canadian English
    Posts
    325

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Could "guardia" in Spanish be similar to "policía" in that we can have "la policía" to denote the police force in general but "un policía" to denote a single police man (and "una policía" for a police woman).
    je veux vous aider de n'importe quelle façon // quiero ayudarlos de cualquier manera // quero ajudar vocês de qualquer jeito

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Slovakia
    Native language
    Hungarian
    Posts
    4,952

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnPrep View Post
    For the moment, il signor guardia and la signora giudice are considered incorrect in Italian, but since some speakers find the correct forms awkward, the standard usage may change ...
    Yes. For example, there are 29 900 occurrences of "la signora giudice" and 69 700 occurrences of "il signor giudice" in Google. Supposing that most of the judges are/were men (males), the proportion around 3:7 may in theory even correspond to the proportion of the number of female judges to male judges. All in all, the usage of "la signora giudice" seems to be very common in Italian ...
    Last edited by francisgranada; 13th April 2014 at 7:39 PM. Reason: Precision

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    City of Brotherly Love
    Native language
    USA Northeast
    Posts
    2,758

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by caelum View Post
    Could "guardia" in Spanish be similar to "policía" in that we can have "la policía" to denote the police force in general but "un policía" to denote a single police man (and "una policía" for a police woman).
    That is the way I understand it and use it. Un(a) guardia but la guardia civil, un(a) policía but la policía, and un(a) guía but la guía (book) [yes, the last one is not really the same, I know] There probably are more. I didn't know un(a) guardia was supposed to be a sub-standard replacement of un(a) guarda. Besides un guardia civil there is also un guardia urbano and un guardia de seguridad. I'm sure all of these are used. Un guardia must be commonplace or even preferred in Spain as that is the only word I picked up, but like a sponge I picked up a lot of bad habits there. Perhaps guardia was influenced by policía. That makes sense, but when exactly did un policía come about, when it replaced un alguacil?

    Italian seems to be more liberal with the feminine gender applied to men. In Spanish for example one would never consider saying to a man: La llamo a Vd. para mantenerla informada just because Usted derives from Vuestra Merced and Merced is a feminine noun. This seems to be the rationale behind using Lei (formal you),La signora guardia, La signora giudice and several other forms or titles in standard Italian.

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreathoo
    In Serb/Cro/Bos I can only think of one case, midwife (primalja, babica). A male nurse working in that field would always be referred to in female form because there is no male form.
    This reminds me that there is apparently hesitation in French between un sage-femme/ une sage-femme homme for "midwife". It's awkward because the term literally means a "wise-woman".
    Last edited by merquiades; 13th April 2014 at 5:46 PM.
    Life is not a dress rehearsal.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Slovakia
    Native language
    Hungarian
    Posts
    4,952

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by merquiades View Post
    ... Un(a) guardia but la guardia civil, un(a) policía but la policía, and un(a) guía but la guía (book) ...
    I think this is perfectly o.k. and not even "unnatural" because e.g. policía in the sense of a person is a secondary and different usage/meaning of policía (as organization, corps). Similar examples do exist also in Italian. (The only example that comes to my mind at the moment is capostanza, which can be both masculine and feminine, even if capo is of masc. gender).

    In case of víctima, persona, etc... the original/primary usage/meaning of the noun is fully maintained (regardless if it is applied to men or women). Thus in these cases the grammatical gender is "strongly bounded" to the proper noun and this tends to impede any possible changing of the grammatical geneder of the noun. Of course, everything is possible ...

    So, the problem is not the gender of the noun guardia. When we can say "Pedro es una buena persona" why couldn't we say "Pietro è una buona guardia" ? ... Both the sentences are grammatically correct and, I think, totally natural. The "problem" is the usage of the noun signora refering to a male. The "logic" of this kind of concordance, i.e. that the noun guardia (fem.) requires the usage of the noun signora (fem.), is understandable. However, I can't find any convincing reason/justification why it should be so, or in other words, why signora guardia would be "more grammatical" than signor guardia (in case of a male guardsman, of course).
    Last edited by francisgranada; 13th April 2014 at 8:30 PM. Reason: Precision

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Northwestern Ontario
    Native language
    Canadian English
    Posts
    325

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    We also have examples such as un modelo del mundo pero él es un modelo / ella es una modelo, but then veo una estrella en el cielo y él es una estrella del rock / ella es una estrella del rock.
    je veux vous aider de n'importe quelle façon // quiero ayudarlos de cualquier manera // quero ajudar vocês de qualquer jeito

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    City of Brotherly Love
    Native language
    USA Northeast
    Posts
    2,758

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by francisgranada View Post
    So, the problem is not the gender of the word guardia. When we can say "Pedro es una buena persona" why couldn't we say "Pietro è una buona guardia" ? ... Both the sentences are grammatically correct and, I think, totally "natural". The "problem" is the usage of the noun signora refering to a male. The "logic" of this kind of concordance, i.e. that the noun guardia (fem.)requires the usage of signora (fem.), is understandable. However, I can't find any convincing reason/justification why it should be so, or in other words, why signora guardia would be "more grammatical" than signor guardia (in case of a male guardsman, of course).
    Yes, I see what you mean. Italian obviously has a different sensitivity about gender and adheres more strictly to the gender of the primary noun in a group, and coalesces around that. That's the only way to explain "la signora guardia". We could give quite a few reasons to justify "*il signore guardia". Questo signore è guardia.... drop the verb and signore would work as an attribute in opposition to guardia... Questo signore guardia. Yet, if that construction is unacceptable in Italian, we have no choice but to see signora as an adjective that modifies guardia and has to be feminine singular.

    Edit: I wonder what Italian does with the male of una levatrice?
    Last edited by merquiades; 13th April 2014 at 7:51 PM.
    Life is not a dress rehearsal.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Slovakia
    Native language
    Hungarian
    Posts
    4,952

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by merquiades View Post
    ... Italian obviously has a different sensitivity about gender and adheres more strictly to the gender of the primary noun in a group, and coalesces around that. That's the only way to explain "la signora guardia"...
    Yes, however I have some doubts regarding this different sensitivity, i.e. if it is really spontaneaous ... (my ad hoc "research" [post #31] seems to suggest the contrary).

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Native language
    English, USA
    Posts
    4,776

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreathoo View Post
    In Serb/Cro/Bos I can only think of one case, midwife (primalja, babica). A male nurse working in that field would always be referred to in female form because there is no male form.

    There are a few cases of grammatically feminine nouns that are used for both males and females. One examples is a word for a tradesman (zanatlija). This word is grammatically feminine but naturally genderless or even masculine since tradesmen are mostly men.
    But do you say, for example, "gospođa babica / primalja / zanatlija" regardless of whether the person in question is a man or woman?

    Also, do you happen to know the etymological reason why zanatlija is feminine? It looks like an agent noun derived from a verb, but I can't tell what verb it's based on.

    (Thanks)

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    City of Brotherly Love
    Native language
    USA Northeast
    Posts
    2,758

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by francisgranada View Post
    Yes, however I have some doubts regarding this different sensitivity, i.e. if it is really spontaneaous ... (my ad hoc "research" [post #31] seems to suggest the contrary).
    In French, at least, feminizing a profession by adding a Madame seems to be common and preferred by l'Académie Française (there was a thread about that somewhere): Madame le juge, Madame le préfet, Madame le président, Madame le professeur. But Monsieur la sage-femme would seem bizarre. If memory serves me well they stated that the masculine has a common unaffected function and actually serves to make women equal, rather than inventing a special form for them. That's the same rationale that is used in the US to make everyone an actor now, no one an actress, same for flight attendant... etc. Using the masculine in lieu of feminine is thus rather common practice. That's how I would see La signora giudice and Madame le juge (not modifying the noun) rather than the Spanish Jueza.

    The example of guardia is different and is working in a different way. It's not il signore guardia or even la signore guardia or la guardia signore. Signore has to be seen as some type of adjective then, guardia forcing it to become feminine. It would be like your example: Pietro è una buona guardia, è una persona molto brava, è una povera vittima, è una signora guardia.
    I asked what was done with levatrice to compare.
    Life is not a dress rehearsal.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    France
    Native language
    AmE
    Age
    39
    Posts
    5,588

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by francisgranada View Post
    Yes. For example, there are 29 900 occurrences of "la signora giudice" and 69 700 occurrences of "il signor giudice" in Google.
    Unfortunately, the estimates that Google gives, and any numbers over 1,000, are quite unreliable and unusable even for casual research. I clicked through to the last page of results and only got about 130 hits for la signora giudice and about 680 for il signor giudice (540) + il signore giudice (140). And of course there is no easy way to determine how many of the signor(e) examples actually refer to a female judge.
    Quote Originally Posted by francisgranada View Post
    All in all, the usage of "la signora giudice" seems to be very common in Italian ...
    In any case, there are definitely speakers who use this form, whether totally naturally or as a conscious choice. But someone who accepts la signora giudice will not necessarily accept il signor(e) guardia (or vice versa).

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Native language
    Srpski
    Posts
    170

    Re: Natural and grammatical gender

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavril View Post
    But do you say, for example, "gospođa babica / primalja / zanatlija" regardless of whether the person in question is a man or woman?
    No. It would be Mr. midwife (gospodin babica, which sounds weird). Although, Mr. and Mrs. is generally used to formally address a person, and usually in conjunction with an official title or a last name, such as Mr. president. Use of Mr. with name of profession is not idiomatic in the sense that it sounds over the top or snide depending on situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavril View Post
    Also, do you happen to know the etymological reason why zanatlija is feminine? It looks like an agent noun derived from a verb, but I can't tell what verb it's based on.(Thanks)
    The word is coined from the word zanat (trade, eng.) and suffix -lija. Compare to bečlija (a man from Vienna, coined from Beč (Vienna) and suffix -lija). However, a woman from Vienna is bečlijka, or bečanka. Also, the true musculine form for a man from Vienna is bečanin.
    Last edited by thegreathoo; 14th April 2014 at 3:08 AM.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •