Romance languages: cognates with different genders

albondiga

Senior Member
English/USA
Hi all,

I'm wondering if anyone can give me some examples of words that are cognates between two or more of these four Romance languages, but for which the gender is different in at least one. (Just as an example of one of the many possible combinations: a word that exists as a cognate in Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, yet is masculine in Spanish and Portuguese but feminine in Italian...)

Any examples greatly appreciated... thanks!
 
  • Talant

    Senior Member
    Uf, there are lots. For instance most words that end in "-eur" in French are feminine, and end in "-or" in Spanish and are masculine: Erreur (f) - Error (m); Valeur (f) - Valor (m);....
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    ah, ok, then can anyone give me some of the other guidelines (besides the one mentioned by Talant) for predicting when a cognate in one of these languages is likely to have a different gender in another one of these languages?

    Thanks...
     

    DrLindenbrock

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Uf, there are lots. For instance most words that end in "-eur" in French are feminine, and end in "-or" in Spanish and are masculine: Erreur (f) - Error (m); Valeur (f) - Valor (m);....
    In Italian the equivalent would be -ore (amore, colore, valore, etc.) and all these words are masculin.

    For derived words (giocatore = player, from giocare = to play) and is masculin the suffix is -tore. The feminin equivalent is -trice.
    E.g. Autore / autrice, giocatore /giocatrice, attore / attrice, scrittore /scrittrice (writer).

    There are at least three very common words with one should keep in mind.
    Salt, honey, milk, blood are masculin in Italian and French (le sel / il sale, le miel / il miele, le lait / il latte, le sang / il sangue) whereas they are feminin in Spanish (la sal, la miel, la leche, la sangre).

    I'm sure some more general rules could be set ouy... I hope I'll get some ideas later on.....
    :)
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Most Spanish nouns ending in -aje are masculine. Most Portuguese nouns ending in -agem are feminine. One example: mensaje / mensagem "message".

    P.S. DrLindenbrock's examples are excellent. I've just remembered a more "adult-oriented" one: the feminine C-word is feminine in Portuguese, but masculine in Spanish. Of course, these things can vary even within each language.
     

    avalon2004

    Senior Member
    UK- English/Spanish
    Spanish- El planeta (masculine)
    Portuguese- O planeta (masculine)
    Italian- Il pianeta (masculine)
    French- La planète (feminine)

    I don't know why French breaks the mould here...
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Port. = Portuguese
    Sp. = Spanish
    It. = Italian
    Fr. = French
    Cat. = Catalan
    Ro. = Romanian
    m. = masculine
    f. = feminine
    n. = neuter

    Port. a ponte, Sp. el puente, It. il ponte, Fr. le pont, Cat. el pont, Ro. punte (f.)
    Port. a árvore, Sp. el árbol, It. l'albero (m.), Fr. l'arbre (m.), Cat. l'arbre (m.)
    Port. o nariz, Sp. la nariz, It. il naso, Fr. le nez, Cat. el nas, Ro. nas (n.)
    Port. o lábio, Sp. el labio, It. il labbro, Fr. la lèvre, Cat. el llavi
    Port. o massacre, Sp. la masacre, It. il massacre, Fr. le massacre, Cat. la massacre, Ro. masacru (n.)
    Port. o protesto, Sp./It./Cat. la protesta, Fr. la protestation, Ro. protest (n.)
    Port. o tomate, Sp. el tomate, It. il pomodoro, Fr. la tomate, Cat. el tomàquet
    Port. o dente, Sp. el diente, It. il dente, Fr./Cat. la dent, Ro. dinte (m.)
    Port. o labor, Sp./Cat. la labor, It. il lavoro, Fr. le labeur
    Port. o sal, Sp./Cat. la sal, It. il sale, Fr. le sel, Ro. sare (f.)
    Port. o mel, Sp. la miel, It. il miele, Fr. le miel, Cat. la mel, Ro. miere (f.)
    Port. o planeta, Sp./Cat. el planeta, It. il pianeta, Fr. la planète, Ro. planetă (f.)
    Port. o sangue, Sp. la sangre, It. il sangue, Fr. le sang, Cat. la sang, Ro. sânge (n.)
     

    ronanpoirier

    Senior Member
    Brazil - Portuguese
    Another question! Why not add Romanian and Catalan to the list? :) That would be way interesting.

    EDIT: Oh, now I see jazyk added those too, and that's why albondiga said he went beyond the call. I've been so slow these days...

    EDIT²: OK! I just don't wanna play stupid here, why not adding Latin?
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    Another question! Why not add Romanian and Catalan to the list? :) That would be way interesting.

    EDIT: Oh, now I see jazyk added those too, and that's why albondiga said he went beyond the call. I've been so slow these days...
    Exactly... Comparing Spanish/Portuguese/Italian/French satisfies my practical interest as I'm studying those at varying levels, as well as my general linguistic interest... Adding Romanian and Catalan satisfies only my general linguistic interest as I'm not (yet :rolleyes: ) studying those, but that's reason enough for me to appreciate any contributions...

    Another question: Does anyone know whether variations of this sort among the Romance languages occur with greater or less frequency than they do within other language groups (Slavic, Semitic, etc.)?
     
    Another question! Why not add Romanian and Catalan to the list? :) That would be way interesting.

    EDIT: Oh, now I see jazyk added those too, and that's why albondiga said he went beyond the call. I've been so slow these days...

    EDIT²: OK! I just don't wanna play stupid here, why not adding Latin?
    Do not forget, there are also Provencal, Moldovan, Corsican, Galician, Asturian...what not
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    EDIT²: OK! I just don't wanna play stupid here, why not adding Latin?
    In La. (Latin), the first word given is nominative and the second is genitive.

    Port. a ponte, Sp. el puente, It. il ponte, Fr. le pont, Cat. el pont, Ro. punte (f.), La. pons, pontis (m.)
    Port. a árvore, Sp. el árbol, It. l'albero (m.), Fr. l'arbre (m.), Cat. l'arbre (m.), La. arbor, arboris (m.)
    Port. o nariz, Sp. la nariz, It. il naso, Fr. le nez, Cat. el nas, Ro. nas (n.), La. nasus, nasi (m.)/nasum, nasi (n.)
    Port. o lábio, Sp. el labio, It. il labbro, Fr. la lèvre, Cat. el llavi, La. labium, labi(i) (n.)
    Port. o massacre, Sp. la masacre, It. il massacre, Fr. le massacre, Cat. la massacre, Ro. masacru (n.)
    Port. o protesto, Sp./It./Cat. la protesta, Fr. la protestation, Ro. protest (n.), La. protestatio, protestations (f.)
    Port. o tomate, Sp. el tomate, It. il pomodoro, Fr. la tomate, Cat. el tomàquet
    Port. o dente, Sp. el diente, It. il dente, Fr./Cat. la dent, Ro. dinte (m.), La. dens, dentis (m.)
    Port. o labor, Sp./Cat. la labor, It. il lavoro, Fr. le labeur, La. labor, laboris (m.)
    Port. o sal, Sp./Cat. la sal, It. il sale, Fr. le sel, Ro. sare (f.), La. sal, salis (n.)
    Port. o mel, Sp. la miel, It. il miele, Fr. le miel, Cat. la mel, Ro. miere (f.), La. mel, mellis (n.)
    Port. o planeta, Sp./Cat. el planeta, It. il pianeta, Fr. la planète, Ro. planetă (f.), La. planetae, planetarum (m.pl.).
    Port. o sangue, Sp. la sangre, It. il sangue, Fr. le sang, Cat. la sang, Ro. sânge (n.), La. sanguis, sanguinis (m.)

    Do not forget, there are also Provencal, Moldovan, Corsican, Galician, Asturian...what not
    Exactly. Why not? Let's see if somebody knows them.
     

    cajzl

    Senior Member
    Czech
    Port. a árvore, Sp. el árbol, It. l'albero (m.), Fr. l'arbre (m.), Cat. l'arbre (m.), La. arbor, arboris (m.)
    Arbor is feminine in Latin.

    In Latin the names of trees are usually feminine. Even if they are o-stem or u-stem nouns (fagus, quercus, ...).
     

    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Just wanted to add those words in Romanian that were missing from your list Jazyk and their gender.

    Romanian:
    2. arbore (m.)
    4. in Romanian you can use the word labrum* (n.) for "lip", but the most common is "buză".
    7. tomată (f.)
    9. the word "lavoro" is not present in Romanian.

    Hope this helped in this discussion!

    :) robbie
     

    konungursvia

    Banned
    Canada (English)
    I think the reason for these differences is that when Vulgar Latin "degraded" into early Galego-Portuguese, Occitan, French, etc., different cases became the most popular simplifications, bringing different endings in each language when the dative and accusative were "lost". The same goes for plurals, some languages having -s, others having -i.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    This comment makes me wonder: Does anyone know the reason for any of these variations?
    The short answer is that I don't know. But, for example, in the case of French planète it could have been due to the interference of the common feminine suffix -ette. And in the case of la mer it could -- perhaps -- have been due to the interference of la mère.
    Just $0.02.
     

    J.F. de TROYES

    Senior Member
    francais-France
    The short answer is that I don't know. But, for example, in the case of French planète it could have been due to the interference of the common feminine suffix -ette. And in the case of la mer it could -- perhaps -- have been due to the interference of la mère.
    Just $0.02.
    ab


    Good question, indeed ! I am not sure at all, but this is my explanation:

    La planète

    "planète" comes from vulgar Latin "planeta " , being derived from classical Latin " planetae/-arum ", ( ther's no singular in Clas.Latin ) a MASC.Pl., though most of Latin words ending in -ae/arum are FEM.PLURAL ( "rosae" is the plural of "rosa",Fem ) . Why MASC. ? Because the word is actually the Greek word " πλανήτης "(Sing. "planètès" ) / πλανήται (Pl. "planètaï " ) which is a MASC. and means "wandering " or "wanderer". So the word is originally a masculine , but from the early middle age it is
    felt in France as a feminine according to the model: "rosae" FEM.PLUR. < "rosa " FEM.SING , so "planeta", coming from"planetae" is felt as a feminine . Moreover most of latin words ending in -a become Fem. in French: "Sequana" (the Seine river ) is Masc. in Latin , but Fem. in French: "la Seine".

    La mer
    Nothing is certain either.I read that maybe it's due to the couple "mer/terre" ( sea/land ) : la terre , so la mer. (?)
    My guess is that most of the French words with a last syllable pronounced "ère" ( close to "fair" ) are feminine; there are a lot of such feminine words because many masc. names and adjectives ending in -er ( close to "late" ) have correspondant feminines in -ère: "le boulanger, la boulangère" (the baker ) , "le banquier, la banquière" (the banker)..., "dernier , masc., dernière,fem"., "régulier, régulière" ... So the final syllabes pronounced "ère" - no matter the spelling- sound feminine to a French ear, even though there are exceptions.
     

    J.F. de TROYES

    Senior Member
    francais-France
    The short answer is that I don't know. But, for example, in the case of French planète it could have been due to the interference of the common feminine suffix -ette. And in the case of la mer it could -- perhaps -- have been due to the interference of la mère.
    Just $0.02.
    In agreement with Outsider I'd like to add that the sea ( because of its gender and the homonimy mer/mère ) is deeply felt in French as having a feminine nature , what results in poetic implications. The novelist D. Fernandez has written a book entitled: "Mère Méditerranée" ( Mediterranean mother ).
     

    DrLindenbrock

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Prison: Lat. carcěr / carcěris (masc.), It. (il) carcere (m.), Cat. (el) càrcer (m.), Sp. (la) cárcel (f.), Port. (o) cárcere (m.)

    PS I had said that in Portoguese the word was feminine. It is masculine and I corrected it after Outsider told me about it in the post you find immediately after this. This is just to clarify how the discussion evolved. :)
     

    DrLindenbrock

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Oops sorry! I had looked on "our" dictionary. Now I checked better and it's all right, but for how the page is set I had got confused and thought there was an f. for feminin there.
    Well, thanks for the correction! :)
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed this, but there's a disregard for geographic expectations here. To use the first example from jazyk's list early in the thread:

    Port. a ponte, Sp. el puente, It. il ponte, Fr. le pont, Cat. el pont, Ro. punte (f.), La. pons, pontis (m.)
    Masculine in Latin, kept masculine by Spanish, Catalan, French, and Italian, but has become feminine in (1) Portuguese and (2) Romanian, which are quite distant geographically (in the context of Romance languages)...

    It is particularly words like this for which it would (a) be interesting to know about the development in those languages which diverged from Latin, and (b) be interesting to know what has developed in Occitan, Corsican, Galician, Sicilian, etc. Anyone who speaks any other Romance languages that can add them onto jazyk's list or the other examples that have been given in this thread?
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    Port. a ponte, Sp. el puente, It. il ponte, Fr. le pont, Cat. el pont, Ro. punte (f.), La. pons, pontis (m.)
    Port. a árvore, Sp. el árbol, It. l'albero (m.), Fr. l'arbre (m.), Cat. l'arbre (m.), La. arbor, arboris (m.)
    Port. o nariz, Sp. la nariz, It. il naso, Fr. le nez, Cat. el nas, Ro. nas (n.), La. nasus, nasi (m.)/nasum, nasi (n.)
    Port. o lábio, Sp. el labio, It. il labbro, Fr. la lèvre, Cat. el llavi, La. labium, labi(i) (n.)
    Port. o massacre, Sp. la masacre, It. il massacre, Fr. le massacre, Cat. la massacre, Ro. masacru (n.)
    Port. o protesto, Sp./It./Cat. la protesta, Fr. la protestation, Ro. protest (n.), La. protestatio, protestations (f.)
    Port. o tomate, Sp. el tomate, It. il pomodoro, Fr. la tomate, Cat. el tomàquet
    Port. o dente, Sp. el diente, It. il dente, Fr./Cat. la dent, Ro. dinte (m.), La. dens, dentis (m.)
    Port. o labor, Sp./Cat. la labor, It. il lavoro, Fr. le labeur, La. labor, laboris (m.)
    Port. o sal, Sp./Cat. la sal, It. il sale, Fr. le sel, Ro. sare (f.), La. sal, salis (n.)
    Port. o mel, Sp. la miel, It. il miele, Fr. le miel, Cat. la mel, Ro. miere (f.), La. mel, mellis (n.)
    Port. o planeta, Sp./Cat. el planeta, It. il pianeta, Fr. la planète, Ro. planetă (f.), La. planetae, planetarum (m.pl.).
    Port. o sangue, Sp. la sangre, It. il sangue, Fr. le sang, Cat. la sang, Ro. sânge (n.), La. sanguis, sanguinis (m.)
    To follow up on my last post, compare that example with some others:

    Bridge: feminine in Portuguese and Romanian, masculine in Spanish, Catalan, French, and Italian
    Salt, Honey: masculine only in Portuguese, French and Italian; feminine in Spanish, Catalan, and Romanian
    Nose: masculine in those same three plus Catalan, feminine in Spanish, neuter in Romanian

    On my second glance they're not all as bad as I first thought, but still not exactly following any kind of real patterns...
     

    DrLindenbrock

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Port. o olor, Sp. el olor, Cat. la olor.
    It. (l') odore (m.)

    As for Albondiga's post, I think it is correct to assume geographical proximity influences changes...but normally, more "peripheric" dialects of a language tend to retain features that become archaic in more "central" dialects. I don't have a particular reference to quote, this is what I 've read around, both in books and the internet.
    Just an example: Romanian is the only major Romance language which retained some of the case system of Latin.
    Ok, another example: most Romance languages (not French, ok) derive the word "house" from Latin "casa" (with slight variations in spelling or pronunciation), which in Latin actually meant "hut", "shack".
    In Latin (one of numerous words for) house was "domus", and this is retained in Sardinian (also a historically very isolated language) as "domo", but only there.
    :)
     

    DrLindenbrock

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I didn't want to include Italian, since I was talking about olor. I would have included Italian if I had been talking about o odor, el odor, l'odeur (f.), etc.
    Hi!
    Hm, I automatically included Italian because I was sure "odore" had the same etymology, i.e. the fact that some have the D and some the L is due to the fact that Latin had two words: odor/odoris (more frequent, I believe) ans olor/oloris, both meaning smell, scent, odor.

    Anyway, to be accurate I did some research on the web.
    Something that might get things clear is that the Portoguese wikipedia says the following with respect to the word "odor" (last updated: 15:24, Sept. 9th 2006):
    Odor é o mesmo que cheiro, a percepção do olfato. Tem como sinônimo poético a variante olor. Ao estudo do odor dá-se o nome de osmologia

    Furthermore, the RAE dictionary (of Spanish) does not have an entry for odor (with a D), it just has odor. But I "googled" "odor" and there are some occurences, so on this I'll wait for others to say something.

    On the other hand, in Italian we only say odore (with a D), never olore, but we have a series of words, like olezzo (kind of unpleasent smell), olfatto (sense of smell), aulente (poetic word describing something having a pleasant odor, e.g. flowers), which have an L and not a D, so this shows different paths in the evolution of words with a common etymology.

    Ok, to recap, I think we can provide the following scheme since the etymology appears to be the same (I didn't investigate much on the French and Catalan, as I believe Jazyk was sure about those :) ).

    Lat. Odor/odoris & Olor/oloris (both masc.); Port. o olor (m.); Sp. el olor (m.); Cat. la olor (f.); Fr. l'odeur (f.); It. l'odore (m.).

    PS this a question for Catalan speakers: shouldn't the article before "olor" become L'? It precedes a vowels and this vowels is not an unstressed I or U? I was wondering...

    Enjoy posting :)
     

    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    I'm just obligated to add the Romanian word for it:

    odor (n.)

    Feels much better now! :D

    :) robbie
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    PS this a question for Catalan speakers: shouldn't the article before "olor" become L'? It precedes a vowels and this vowels is not an unstressed I or U? I was wondering...
    It certainly should. I think I separated it to show that the word was feminine, but that would be wrong for all intents and purposes.
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    As for Albondiga's post, I think it is correct to assume geographical proximity influences changes...but normally, more "peripheric" dialects of a language tend to retain features that become archaic in more "central" dialects. I don't have a particular reference to quote, this is what I 've read around, both in books and the internet.
    Just an example: Romanian is the only major Romance language which retained some of the case system of Latin.
    Ok, another example: most Romance languages (not French, ok) derive the word "house" from Latin "casa" (with slight variations in spelling or pronunciation), which in Latin actually meant "hut", "shack".
    In Latin (one of numerous words for) house was "domus", and this is retained in Sardinian (also a historically very isolated language) as "domo", but only there.
    :)
    Out of curiosity, I tabulated how often each of the seven languages in jazyk's second post had matching genders (again, these are cases where others have diverged)... Now obviously this is not a scientific sample (dependent upon lots of factors, including jazyk's own familiarity with these languages), but useful to evaluate your point. (I did this quickly, so hopefully none of these numbers are off, either in the calculation or the trancription into this post...) Note also that some cognates were missing for Romanian (4) and Latin (2)... the rest of the numbers are out of 13 total.

    Portuguese: Spanish (4) Italian (10) French (6) Catalan (4) Romanian (2) Latin (5)

    Spanish: Portuguese (4) Italian (7) French (3) Catalan (11) Romanian (3) Latin (5)

    Italian: Portuguese (10) Spanish (7) French (9) Catalan (7) Romanian (1) Latin (8)

    French: Portuguese (6) Spanish (3) Italian (9) Catalan (5) Romanian (1) Latin (6)

    Catalan: Portuguese (4) Spanish (11) Italian (7) French (5) Romanian (2) Latin (5)

    Romanian: Portuguese (2) Spanish (3) Italian (1) French (1) Catalan (2) Latin (2)

    Latin: Portuguese (5) Spanish (5) Italian (8) French (6) Catalan (5) Romanian (2)

    So a couple of points here:

    a) Following up on your point about "peripheric" languages retaining features of the original, that is certainly not reflected here; French and Italian were the two most likely to match the original Latin gender, Romanian the least likely. Another side point about Romanian here is that it differed most from the others, in part because of the number of neuter nouns; yet the instances where Romanian was neuter did not necessarily match the instances where the original Latin was neuter. (Also strange is that it matched Spanish more than the others, but not by much... so it probably doesn't mean anything.)

    b) The two most likely languages to match were Spanish and Catalan (11 times), which is not surprising. But the next language pair most likely to match was Portuguese and Italian, 10 times! This seems strange in the geographic context, but a quick glance will reveal that in those 13 cases noted by jazyk in which the Romance languages vary, both Italian (12) and Portuguese (11) are almost always masculine... while again it's a small unscientific sample size, it might reflect some characteristic of the development of those two languages... additionally, most of the Latin examples were either masculine (6), neuter (3) or both (1), so this would fit in somewhat with your point about languages on the periphery being closer to the original in some cases.

    (It still seems a bit strange that Portuguese managed to match Italian 10 times, yet matched no other language more than 6 times... the fact that it matches Spanish only 4 times is interesting as well, but this might be explained in part by greater familiarity on jazyk's part with instances in which the Spanish and Portuguese differ.)

    c) Still, no real patterns... in some cases geographical proximity matters, in others centrality/"peripherality" matters, in others nothing seems to matter...

    I'm sure there'd be a lot more to discuss if there was a longer list (i.e., greater sample size), especially if it included the other languages along the continuum... If I ever go back to school for a degree in linguistics, I think I know what my thesis topic might involve :D...
     

    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Just a question Albondiga: did you take the missing words in Romanian that I added in post #20?? I added the missing words in Romanian, but here they are again to spare you from going back to the first page:

    Romanian:
    2. arbore (m.)
    4. in Romanian you can use the word labrum* (n.) for "lip", but the most common is "buză".
    7. tomată (f.)
    9. the word "lavoro" is not present in Romanian.
    :) robbie
     

    Toxina

    New Member
    Romanian
    robbie_SWE, are you sure that in romanian is used the word "labrum"?
    The most common is indeed "buză". But there is another one: "labial". This is often used when we talk about a sound articulated at the lips level.
    Maybe you wanted to say "labium"(n.)...which is the lower lip of insects, and in botany is used when we talk about the shape of a leaf, but again it isn't very common.:)
     

    Toxina

    New Member
    Romanian
    :confused:...ok...uncommon and strange. Anyway both "labrum" and "labium" exist: "labrum" is the the upper lip and "labium" is the lower lip of insects:D as you can see (I wasn't able to put a link because I haven't made 30 posts but if you search "labium" on dexonline you will find it)
    But...if I may add something off-topic:eek:..."labrum" is more uncommon than "labium", and I only asked if you are sure that the word is used....I believed you that it exists:)
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    Just a question Albondiga: did you take the missing words in Romanian that I added in post #20?? I added the missing words in Romanian, but here they are again to spare you from going back to the first page:

    :) robbie
    Oops, forgot about that, and also the note about the gender of the Latin Arbor in post #18... so (and I'm sure some of this is getting messed up since it would probably be better for me to use a spreadsheet rather than just sight-counting, but I'm not going to put TOO much effort into this :D) the new numbers are:

    Portuguese: Spanish (4) Italian (10) French (6) Catalan (4) Romanian (2) Latin (4)

    Spanish: Portuguese (4) Italian (7) French (3) Catalan (11) Romanian (4) Latin (4)

    Italian: Portuguese (10) Spanish (7) French (9) Catalan (7) Romanian (2) Latin (7)

    French: Portuguese (6) Spanish (3) Italian (9) Catalan (5) Romanian (3) Latin (5)

    Catalan: Portuguese (4) Spanish (11) Italian (7) French (5) Romanian (3) Latin (4)

    Romanian: Portuguese (2) Spanish (4) Italian (2) French (3) Catalan (3) Latin (2)

    Latin: Portuguese (4) Spanish (4) Italian (7) French (5) Catalan (4) Romanian (2)

    (I hope these numbers are right, since I'm adding these up in my head... Note: I did include the Romanian labrum in the count, since it does exist as a cognate...)

    Anyway, I think all of the points from my post above still stand with these modified numbers...

    (don't change anything else now! :))
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    I was just wondering if anyone who has familiarity with Romance languages as well as one or more other language families (Slavic, Germanic, Semitic, or whatever) could tell me if this phenomenon is less common among the Romance languages than in whichever of those families you are familiar (or about equally common, or more common)...

    (no need to give lists from other families, we want to keep this on topic :)... just a comparison)

    Thanks...
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    I think it's much more common in Romance languages than in Slavic or Germanic languages. The only examples I can think of right now are Polish bank (m.), Czech banka (f.); Polish adres (m.), Czech adresa (f.); German Buch (n.), Dutch boek (n.), Swedish bok (common gender), Danish bog (common gender); German Brief (m.), Dutch brief (common gender), Swedish/Danish brev (neuter).

    Common gender is, very roughly, nouns that are not neuter, since the distinction masculine vs. feminine is not relevant in most cases.

    I don't know if this answers your question.
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    I don't know if this answers your question.
    You couldn't have answered my question more directly than you did... :) Thanks!

    Anyway, I've got some more:

    Port: a equipe, Sp: el equipo, Fr: l'équipe (f)
    Port: o riso, Sp: la risa, It: il riso, Fr: le rire
    Port: o sorriso, Sp: la sonrisa, It: il sorriso, Fr: le sourire

    (Sorry, not familiar with the other languages, feel free to add them :) )
     
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