Monday, October 24, 2016

English Language and Gender

For those who may be in interested in the gender of words, both the French and German Languages have concluded that Brexit is a masculine word. An excellent decision in my view. Also worth recalling recent explorations into the origins of the English Language. For years and years it was assumed that Angles and Saxons from the German part of Europe invaded the New Jerusalem, laid waste to the gentle Celts and the round table Arthurian type Romano Britons. They ravaged, pillaged and generally behaved like Vikings in their total disregard for the ethnic values of indigenous peoples. The result of course was a Dark Age, more than likely Satanic in nature, full of grief and horribleness. Sadly for this opinion, there's no actual evidence, outside of propaganda from the likes of Bede and Victorian Gentleman scholars to support the idea. More likely, newer theories suggest, the Anglo Saxon Invasion was a slow process of assimilation.

Certainly there were disagreements, some cattle and sheep raiding, but nothing that qualified as a Barbarian Invasion, slaughtering of the innocents and enslaving the survivors. One area of evidence for these newer ideas is in the English Language. We don't devote time to the gender of words, we don't make a big point out of the gender of words, we don't know that a Tomato is Feminine, and if we do, we don't make make an issue out of it. And the thing is had the English Language of today arrived to us as a result of conquest it would have retained the more Germanic devotion to the gender of nouns. Die Tomate in German is female. Now Welsh nouns do have gender, but in Welsh the softness of the distinction between boy and girl words are basically too damn subtle for the average foreigner. In the process of assimilation, the argument is, the English Language in a matter of fact and rather boring way just gave up on the whole idea of nouns having gender.

No comments: