Gerhard Mussies on Gender – Pt II

Building on the discussion of markedness and gender two posts ago, here’s a chart Mussies provides for understanding the relationship between the three noun classes of Greek (Neuter, Masculine & Feminine) and their referents as substantival adjectives:

image

This is from page 124.

2 thoughts on “Gerhard Mussies on Gender – Pt II

  1. And how are we to understand such words as τὸ παιδίον or τὸ θυγατρίον? I’ve always had a suspicion that the neuter form is essentially an accusative form used in the nominative in a sort of category of “non-agent.” But that’s pure hypothesis.

  2. Mussies, is referring specifically to adjectives and participles used as substantives, not nouns, which are permanently a given gender.

    With regard to nouns, what’s interesting is that Mussies points out that trees are always feminine, and their fruit, when it is derived from the same root, is always neuter in a sort of parallel to feminine “mother” and neuter “child.” This doesn’t hold for fruits that have a different root than their respective tree.

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