Lavrentivs wrote:I have thought that the feminine of professor would be profestrix, but just read in Allen & Greenough that »[m]asculines in -sor lack the feminine« (236 a n. 2). Does that imply that it is impossible to speak of a female professor in Latin?
Not at all.
There is a difference between the lack of an attestation of a word and the impossibility of its existence. Unfortunately, there is a general feeling that one implies the other, but attestation is not everything. Since a Rule Saying There Cannot Be Such Words has not been presented, what A&G means by "lack" is that a feminine in -trix
corresponding to a masculine in -sor
was not used (or at least one cannot be found).
But, actually, A&G immediately mentions expultrix
, showing that most (not all) of the masculines lack a corresponding feminine!
So, although profestrix
was not used with professor
, there is no rule saying that such a word could not be created and used if you needed it.