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A Handbook of the English Language by Latham

Words corresponding to genitrix and genitor


The

syllables in italics are the signs of the cases and numbers. Now those signs are the same in each word, the difference of meaning (or sex) not affecting them.

s. 184. Contrast, however, with the words _genitor_ and _genitrix_ the words _domina_ = _a mistress_, and _dominus_ = _a master_.

_Sing. Nom._ Domin-a Domin-us. _Gen._ Domin-ae Domin-i. _Dat._ Domin-ae Domin-o. _Acc._ Domin-am Domin-um. _Voc._ Domin-a Domin-e. _Plur. Nom._ Domin-ae Domin-i. _Gen._ Domin-arum Domin-orum. _Dat._ Domin-abus Domin-is. _Acc._ Domin-as Domin-os. _Voc._ Domin-ae Domin-i.

Here the letters in italics, or the signs of the cases and numbers, are different; the difference being brought about by the difference of gender. Now it is very evident that, if _genitrix_ be a specimen of gender, _domina_ is something more.

s. 185. It may be laid down as a sort of definition, that _there is no gender where there is no affection of the declension_: consequently, that, although we have, in English, words corresponding to _genitrix_ and _genitor_, we have no true genders until we find words corresponding to _dominus_ and _domina_.

s. 186. The second element in the notion of gender, although

I will not venture to call it an essential one, is the following:--In the words _domina_ and _dominus_, _mistress_ and _master_, there is a _natural_ distinction of sex; the one being masculine, or male, the other feminine, or female. In the words _sword_ and _lance_ there is _no natural_ distinction of sex. Notwithstanding this, the word _hasta_, in Latin, is as much of the feminine gender as _domina_, whilst _gladius_ = _a sword_ is, like _dominus_, a masculine noun. From this we see that, in languages wherein there are true genders, a fictitious or conventional sex is attributed even to inanimate objects; in other words, _sex_ is a natural distinction, _gender_ a grammatical one.

s. 187. In s. 185 it is written, that "although we have, in English, words corresponding to _genitrix_ and _genitor_, we have no true genders until we find _words corresponding to dominus_ and _domina_."--The sentence was intentionally worded with caution. Words like _dominus_ and _domina_, that is, words where the declension is affected by the sex, _are_ to be found _even in English_.

The pronoun _him_, from the Anglo-Saxon and English _he_, as compared with the pronoun _her_, from the Anglo-Saxon _he['o]_, is affected in its declension by the difference of sex, and is a true, though fragmentary, specimen of gender. The same is the case with the form _his_ as compared with _her_.

The pronoun _it_ (originally _hit_), as compared with _he_, is a specimen of gender.

The relative _what_, as compared with the masculine _who_, is a specimen of gender.

The forms _it_ (for _hit_) and _he_ are as much genders as _hoc_ and _hic_, and the forms _hoc_ and _hic_ are as much genders as _bonum_ and _bonus_.

s. 188. The formation of the neuter gender by the addition of -t, in words like _wha-t_, _i-t_, and _tha-t_, occurs in other languages. The -t in _tha-t_ is the -d in _istu-d_, Latin, and the -t in _ta-t_, Sanskrit.


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