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TUNDRIAN LANGUAGE / LINGUA TUNDRIANA

GENDER







CONTENTS


BY ENDING

NOTE: There are many exceptions. When memorizing vocabulary, students should learn all nouns together with the article.
  • Masculine are:
    • Most words ending in a consonant: el can (dog); el ferr (iron); el ped (foot); el sapoun (soap).
    • Most words ending in -o: el livro (book); el piano (piano); el povlo (people).
    • Most words ending in a stressed vowel or a diphthong: el bambóu (bamboo); el bôu (ox); el café (coffee house); el calhéu (pebble); el câu (basement; cave); el comité (committee).
    • Words of Greek origin ending in -ma: el clima (climate); el côma (coma); el problêma (problem).

  • Feminine are:
    • Most words ending in -a: la casa (house); la planeita (planet); la rosa (rosa); la teica (shop).
    • Most words ending in -e, -ë: la base (base); la ecleipse (eclipse); la fame (hunger); la fûlme (thunderbolt); la imagë (picture); la larynge (larynx); la maire (mother); la nhive (snow).
    • Most abstract nouns ending in -at, -ut: la amixtat (friendship); la estat (summer); la joëntut (youth);  la salut (health).
    • Most nouns ending in -ç: la crûç (cross); la paç (peace); la pulç (flea); la vouç (voice).
    • Most nouns ending in -joun , -nhoun, -sioun, -ssoun, -tzoun, -xoun: la cantzoun (song); la qüessoun (question); la explosioun (explosion); la opinhoun (opinion);  la permixoun (permission); la prijoun (prison).

BY MEANING

  • Masculine are:
    • Most animate nouns referring to males: el gail (rooster); el homne (man); el poriyn (boy); el taur (bull).
    • Names of months and days of the week: el jeunêr (January); el mardzi (Tuesday).
    • Names of cardinal points: el sud (south).
    • Words that are not normally nouns when used as nouns: el blanc (the white); un sí (a yes); el avant (the front of).
    • Names of countries and regions not ending in -a: el Altoun (Altoun [Tundrian province]); el Brasil; el Canadá; el Cile; el Cypro.
    • Names of mountains and mountain ranges not ending in -a (or -e, if in the plural): li Appêniyni; el Hartz; el Vesûv (Vesuvius); li Vogi (the Vosges mountains).
    • Most names of trees except for fruit trees: el aveit (fir); el betêil (birch); el fraixno (ash).
    • Names of weights and measures in the metric system: el gramma; el litro; el metro; el volt.
    • Most names of metals: el aluminiûm; el aur (gold); el ferr (iron); el latoun (brass).
    • Names of hotels and restaurants: el Hilton; el Treis-Esteile.

  • Feminine are:
    • Animate nouns referring to females: la actriyç (actress); la feuna (woman); la javuta (girl); la lûpa (she-wolf); la vacca (cow).
    • Names of countries and regions ending in -a: la América; la Austria; la Creita (Crete); la Francia; la Tundria.
    • Names of mountains and mountain ranges ending in -a (or -e, if in the plural): le Alpe; la Etna; le Himalaye; le Pyreneë.
    • Most names of rivers: la Amazón; la Mississippi; la Niyl (the Nile); la Seina; la Thamisa (the Thames); la Tunde.
    • Most names of fruits: la pira (pear); la pouma (apple); la uva (grape).
    • Names of fruit trees: la pomera (apple tree); la cirejera (cherry tree); la morera (mulberry tree).
    • Most names of festivals, holidays etc. (la festa being understood): la Pasqua (Easter); la Quareisma (Lent); la Santa-Martiyn (Martinmas); la Sant-Sylvestro (New Year's Eve); la Touti-Senti (All Saints).
    • Most names of ships (la nâu being understood): la Pinta; la Queen Elizabeth II; la Titánic.

  • Nouns denoting animate beings that may be applied to both sexes belong to three gender classes:
    • The majority of such nouns are masculine:
      • People: un ângel (an angel); un autour (an author); un guardía (a guard); un testimón (a witness).
      • Animals: el delphiyn (dolphin); el êriyç (hedgehog); el falcoun (falcon); el taixoun (badger).
    • Many, however, are feminine:
      • People: la athleita (athlete); la cognoscentza (acquaintance); le genti (people [used in the plural only]); la persouna (person); la recruta (recruit); la víctima (victim).
      • Animals: la áquila (eagle); la cobaya (guinea pig); la leur (hare); la piyca (magpie); la soriyç (mouse); la vûlp (fox); la yelna (elk).
    • Many such nouns may be of either gender: a default gender (also used when the sex is indeterminate), and the other gender (only used when the sex is known to be that):
      • People: el/la adolescent; el/la astronauta; el/la client (customer); el/la enfant (child); el/la genitour (parent); el/la monarcha; el/la orphan; and all nouns with the suffix -ista: el/la biologista; el/la journalista; el/la tourista; etc.
      • Animals: la/el giraffa; la/el gorilla; la/el hyena; la/el zebra.

BY ETYMOLOGY

  • Nouns derived from Latin masculine nouns are normally masculine: Lat. canis > Tun. el can (dog); Lat color > Tun. el colour (colour);  Lat. homo > Tun. el homne (man); Lat murus > Tun. el mur (wall).
  • Nouns derived from Latin feminine nouns are normally feminine: Lat. casa > Tun. la casa (house); Lat. navis > Tun. la nâu (ship); Lat. turris > Tun. la tûrr (tower). One major exception is that tree names (fem. in Latin) have normally become masc. in Tundrian: Lat. arbor > Tun. el arbo (tree); Lat. quercus > Tun. el querc (oak).
  • Nouns derived from singular neuter nouns in Latin generally became masculine in Tundrian: Lat. mare > Tun. el mar (sea); Lat. templum > Tun. el templo (temple); Lat. vinum > Tun. el viyn (wine).
  • Nouns derived from plural neuter nouns in Latin became feminine in Tundrian: Lat. folia > Tun. la folha (leaf); Lat. ova > Tun. la ova (egg).
  • Nouns derived from Greek generally follow the same pattern: Grk. ho kósmos > Tun. el cosmo (cosmos); Grk. hê méthodos > Tun. la mêthod (method); Grk. to klíma > Tun. el clima (climate).

WORDS DISTINGUISHED BY GENDER

There are some common word pairs that are identical except for gender: the masculine has one meaning, while the feminine another. Common examples are:

el cail (corn [on foot]) / la cail (street)

el capital (capital = money) / la capital (capital = city)

li clavi (nails) / le clavi (keys)

el estat (state) / la estat (summer)

el fiyn (end) / la fiyn (conclusion)

el flour (wheat flour [arch.]) / la flour (flower)

el front (front [in war]) / la front (forehead)

el guiyda (guide) / la guiyda (guidebook)

el luç (pike [a fish]) / la luç (light)

el moral (morale) / la moral (moral [of a story])

el mort (dead person) / la mort (death)

el mur (wall) / la mur (mouse)

el offiç (office, post) / la offiç (pantry)

el part (delivery, birth) / la part (part)

el rat (rat) / la rat (raft)

Note also:

el mar (sea) / la mar (large inland lake, but also poetic for sea)

The following word pairs (homophones in speech) also belong here, even though an additional distinction is introduced by a difference in spelling:

el cayl (puppy) / la cail (street) [both pronounced /'kaĭl/ ]

el côl (mountain pass) / la caul (cabbage) [both pronounced /'kɔl/ ]

el tour (trip, tour) / la tûrr (tower) [both pronounced /'tur/ ]

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