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Third Declension Nouns have natural gender

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Third Declension Nouns have natural gender

Postby blutoonwithcarrotandnail » Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:33 pm

The book i am using says that third declension nouns
have natural gender.

Does this mean that if you use any noun to accompany
a person that it takes on the persons gender?

Like if you said

"The mans cat"
(cat is third declension fem)

Then cat would become masc because it is with a masculine noun?

Thanks.
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Postby Twpsyn » Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:21 am

No. Natural gender means that if a noun's meaning refers to a male 'something', then the noun is masculine, and if it refers to a female 'something', then the noun is feminine.

However, not all third-declension nouns have natural gender, any more than other Latin nouns do. Sol 'sun' is masculine and feles 'cat' is feminine, regardless of the fact that the sun is not a man and a cat can be male. So I am not sure what your textbook meant.
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Postby blutoonwithcarrotandnail » Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:57 am

Does this rule use only the Genative? If it is an object refering
to a male 'something' than that is a possession or the genitive
correct?

Or am i missing the point?

Thanks.
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Postby Twpsyn » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:43 am

You are indeed missing the point. What case a noun happens to be or, if it happens to be in the genitive, the gender of the noun it qualifies, has nothing to do with its own gender, which (except in the case of nouns of common gender like bos) is a fixed property of that individual noun.
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Postby blutoonwithcarrotandnail » Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:53 am

Are you saying that natural gender means that

If Cat is a feminine noun then it is feminine
If Sun is masculine then it is masculine

It has nothing to do with ANOTHER UNRELATED WORD (no other
word effects the noun except the fact that it has that gender)

Cat does not effect the gender of 'a man' who has something to
do with it.

Natural gender is a vague attempt to make something masc/fem
because it makes sense that way - but no other word has anything
to do with the label masc/fem no matter what the sentence structure
is.

Thanks.
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Postby Kasper » Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:28 am

correct. the point is simply that if you are using the word 'man', it is masculine. if you are using the word 'woman' it is female.

equally if you talk about a 'bull', it will be masculine. the word 'cow' will be femine.

this is all that is meant with natural gender.

of course many words/objects have no such natural gender, and the rule is therefore of limited assistance.

yes, the context or related words have no influence on the gender of the noun.
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Postby calvinist » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:13 am

natural gender simply means if you saw it naked what kind of reproductive organs would it have? :shock: so an inanimate object would be, by natural gender, neuter.
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