SV: RERE: Paired Horse and bladibla

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Tue Nov 10 21:58:20 UTC 1998

Lars Martin Fosse wrote:

Today, Norwegian, German and the slavonic languages have three genders, the Romance languages have the feminine and the masculine, Danish and Dutch have the masculine and the neutre, which in a way is reverting to the old animate/inanimate system. 

Sandra van der Geer wrote:

Hoho, as a speaker of Dutch I lived under the impression that we also had feminine? Not visible in the determiner, but for example, in the relative possessive pronoun,

de man wiens auto gestolen was (litt: the man whose car stolen was)
de vrouw wier auto gestolen was (litt: the woman whose car stolen was)

Especially in the older language this is clearly visible, and still so in a number of fixed expressions where the old case-system has been preserved.

But of course there is a clear trend to simplifiy things (back?) into a gender/neuter system.

Dear Sandra, what can I say? It is several years since I read Dutch, and I never really had time to make an indepth study - I only got as far as to be able to read De Telegraph. What I really had in mind was the gender of the nouns, I can't remember that you have anything like the German system with "der Mann - die Frau - das Auto". 

But nevertheless: I stand corrected and ask humbly for forgiveness for spreading such false doctrines about Dutch.

Best regards,

Lars Martin

Dr. art. Lars Martin Fosse
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
0674 Oslo
Phone: +47 22 32 12 19
Fax:      +47 22 32 12 19
Email: lmfosse at

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