Saturday, March 31, 2012

Grammatical Gender in the Bhagavad Gītā

A large chunk of the Bhagavad Gītā consist of Krishna listing things he embodies. During this litany, he briefly mentions grammatical gender. Interestingly, he touches on feminine gender but does not mention masculine or neuter. 

I am death that carries off all things, and I am the source of things to come. Of feminine nouns I am Fame and Prosperity: Speech, Memory and Intelligence; Constancy and patient Forgiveness.

I have a great fondness for grammatical gender, insofar as I have experienced it in Latin and Faroese. A friend of mine tells me there is a movement in Germanic languages to make language more inclusive by purging certain grammatical gender habits. It will be interesting to see what comes of this - language                                                                  naturally defies legislation and prescription.

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