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Modern professions: problems with a few male/female versions

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Modern professions: problems with a few male/female versions

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:31 pm

Salvete omnes!

I am writing an encounter generator creating (more or less random) combinations of places and persons (name, gender, profession, age). The purpose is to be able to concentrate on writing (e.g. short dialogues) without having to ponder for long about names etc. This is not for creative writing, but for creating writing exercises on the fly.

For the professions I am using those from Traupman's Conversational Latin for Oral Proficiency and also a few from a visual dictionary (Dover publications). Some female (and a few male) forms are missing, however. Here is list:

  • craftsman = faber: what is the female form, "fabra"? Related: "faber tignarius", "faber electricus", "faber lapidarius", "metallorum faber", "faber ocularius",
  • hairdresser = ornatrix; tonstrix; concinnator capillorum: what is the male form, simply "concinnator capillorum"?
  • interviewer = interrogator: what is the female form, "interrogatrix"?
  • merchant = mercator: what is the female form, "mercatrix"?
  • prostitute = meretrix; prostituta: what is the male equivalent?
  • plasterer = tector: what is the female form, "tectrix"?
  • police officere = vigil: what is the female form, simply "vigil" as well?
  • presenter (e.g. TV) = praesentator: what is the female form, "praesentatrix"?
  • retailer = propola: what is the female form. Note: according to Forcellini the word propola, -ae f. means mercatoris taberna not a female retailer.
  • sheriff = geraefa: what is the female form, simply "geraefa" (similar to "agricola", "nauta", etc.)?
  • soldier = miles: what is the female form, simply "miles" as well?
  • undertaker = pollinctor: what is the female form, "pollinctrix"?
  • wrestler = luctator: what is the female form, "luctatrix"?

Is it possible to simply replace all -tor endings by -trix? I do not feel absolutely comfortable with that solution.

Generally speaking, is it allowable to use -trix only in order to emphasise the feminine character and otherwise use the -tor one (retaining feminine gender, of course), e.g. praesentator, -oris f.

Ut valeatis,

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Re: Modern professions: problems with a few male/female vers

Postby Shenoute » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:04 pm

I don't know if -trix can be used in all cases but a lot of the words thus formed seem to have been used in Late/Medieval or Renaissance Latin.

- fabricatrix (Forcellini and also here
- concinnatrix (in a Latin-French dictionary of the XVIIIth century)
- mercatrix (found in legal texts)
- tectrix (name of a kind of spider)
- luctatrix (name of a shell or epithet of the Holy Virgin
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Re: Modern professions: problems with a few male/female vers

Postby whsiv » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:24 am

-A tonsor (3rd decl.) is a masculine word that means hairdresser/barber.
-I'm not positive what the word for a male prostitute is in Latin, but you could go for gigolo, -ōnis, m.
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Re: Modern professions: problems with a few male/female vers

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:30 pm

Thank's a lot, especially to you, Shenoute. You helped a lot. I would never have encountered fabricatrix on my own. I adopted the versions suggested by you.

As to the -trix-endings I found an interesting site which covers at least the correct way of adding this special ending. That gave me pollinctrix, interrogatrix, prasentatrix. As for the rest I adopted the same forms for female as for male: vigil, propola, miles. I chucked geraefa as that seemed rather obscure. And by the way, a male prostitute (esp. young adult ones) were called exoletus. According to Forcellini puer meritorius is a synonym. I found it in the Thesaurus eroticus linguae Latinae (written by one Carolus Rambach).

By the way, this genealogical web-site gives a list of professions in Latin as they appeared in church documents. The translations are in German, but perhaps using Google-Translate you may still find it useful.

Valete,

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Re: Modern professions: problems with a few male/female vers

Postby Diaphanus » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:41 pm

Salvete omnes!

Thanks a lot for making use of my site, Carole. (I really ought to update that thing soon.)

The words vigil and miles can be used for males and females (according to the OLD).

For these other words, you can use the all-purpose feminizing suffix -issa: e.g. propolissa from propola.

Greek-derived masculine words in -ta like athleta and nauta can be feminized by replacing the -ta with -tria: athletria, nautria (as seen in Traupman's book).

Traupman seems to be suggesting geraefria as the feminine version of geraefa (p. 377, Fourth Edition), but I can neither find another reference to such a word, nor see where on earth he got such a thing. I think it is a mistake. (By the way, according to the "sheriff" entry in the OED, geréfa is Old English for "reeve.")

Propola is the Latinized version of the Greek προπώλης, and this προπώλης has a longer version προπωλητής, which has the feminine form προπωλήτρια. I suppose, then, you could use propoletria as the feminine form of propola.

Carolus Raeticus wrote:Is it possible to simply replace all -tor endings by -trix? I do not feel absolutely comfortable with that solution.

That is not surprising. The -tor/-sor suffixes seem to be fairly simple, but there are times when big problems can arise.

The -tor at the ends of these words can easily be replaced with -trix to make the feminine versions.

However, when you have words that end in -sor, -ssor, and -xor, things become more complicated. The problems arise because of the phonetic changes that occur when -tor becomes -sor and interacts with the roots of verbs. While the t in -tor usually changes, the t in -trix does not. (According to Lane's A Latin Grammar, section 159, when the combination tt appears right before r, it becomes st.) This lack of change is important because the words that are created do not correspond as neatly as the -tor/-trix pairs of words do.

Lusor is for lud-tor, where the dt became tt and then ss and finally s. The feminine version is lustrix (lud-trix). Although the d in lud- changed to s, the t in -trix did not change at all. Traupman has the feminine version misspelled as lusrix on page 361 of his book (Fourth Edition), but he has it spelled correctly on page 44!

Possessor is for possed-tor, where the dt became tt and then ss. The feminine version is possestrix (possed-trix). Again, the t in -trix did not change.

Impulsor is for impul-sor, where the verb in question is impello -ere and the -tor appears as -sor. Now, the expected feminine version is impultrix (impul-trix), but since s always appears before -trix in feminine words that have masculine counterparts in -sor (e.g. defensor/defenstrix and possessor/possestrix and tonsor/tonstrix), a compound suffix -strix was created, and so we have the actual word impulstrix (impul-s-trix). Other words in -sor that are formed like impulsor, such as mansor (man-sor), ought to have their feminine forms created with that compound suffix: manstrix. This is convenient because then you won't have to spend too much time figuring out whether a particular word in -sor was created like lusor, possessor, or impulsor.

Crucifixor is for crucifig-tor, where the gt became cs and then x. This does not have a feminine form, but we know how the suffix -trix interacts with the roots of verbs: crucifig-trixcrucific-trixcrucifictrix. Notice that, again, the consonant before the -trix changed, but the t in trix did not. Other words in -xor work in similar ways: conexor (conect-torconecs-sorconec-sor)/conectrix (conect-trixconec-trix) and fluxor (flugv-torflug-torfluc-torfluc-sor)/fluctrix (flugv-trixflug-trixfluc-trix). Traupman also understands this because he has the word conectrum for "linker" (p. 261, Fourth Edition). The trum suffix is like a neuter version of -tor and -trix, and works like -trix (in the sense that the t does not change).

The set of rules is basically this:

If the base of the perfect participle of a verb ends in...
  • t, then replace t with: -tor, -trix
  • s, then replace s with: -sor, -strix
  • ss, then replace ss with: -ssor, -strix
  • x, then replace x with: -xor, -ctrix
One other thing: I have seen the -issa suffix used with the -tor suffix: professorissa. I have also seen the regularly formed feminine version of professor: profestrix.

Carolus Raeticus wrote:Generally speaking, is it allowable to use -trix only in order to emphasise the feminine character and otherwise use the -tor one (retaining feminine gender, of course), e.g. praesentator, -oris f.

I suppose one could use praesentator to refer to a female person, but then it would be in cases where the gender, for whatever reason, is not thought of as relevant. But the -tor and -trix are very much gender-specific more often than not (if not almost all the time), and so I recommend that you use one or the other depending on the gender in question.

Valete.
Salve! Verbifex sum quia creatio verborum latinorum novorum mihi placet!
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Re: Modern professions: problems with a few male/female vers

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:36 pm

Salve Diaphane!

Thank you for the comprehensive answer. I have to give it some more thought, though. Certainly not an easy topic. It's quite easy to create a barbarism.

Ut valeas,

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