Before editing “Gender, Trees and Man” (Take 1), I’m going to do a Take 2. One of the most important parts of writing something, is reading it to see what has or has not been said -and whether it should be. The sense of the word gender needs analysis. Gen is a sense element which needs to have the common denominator of sense declined. We see it in the Book of Genesis, in genius, genes, ingenuity, biological genetics, grammatical genders, masculine, feminine and “neuter” genders. That last unholy trinity really bothers me because the gen- represents the sense of gifts within. To consider anything lacking gifts is to see it as somehow lacking worth. There are many matters and things which cannot and should not be expressed with a financial value but, no thing is without value.
Let’s look at other gen- words: gentle, genial, generic, genteel, ingenuous, Gentian (a plant named after an Illyrian king, Gentian) I found this country on a map of the 4th century BCE. The plant is still known for its healing properties. That is definitely a gift. Genro is [ Japanese, literally first of the elders, formerly a group of retired statesmen assembled to advise the emperor] Again, this references a type of gift. This sense element pertains to many peoples and languages over a great many centuries.
Back to English and grammatical genders. [ref]Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary p.764[/ref] “In Linguistics loosely any generic case with functions resembling or thought to resemble those of the Latin genitive, specifically, in English grammar, the possessive case.” The genders masculine, feminine, neuter, or his, hers, its (possessives), I did not find in the English of King Ælfred’s time. Latin grammar was not imposed on English until Bishop Ælfric translated Priscian’s Latin Grammar. That was a hundred years after the King. With Latin grammar, we have the genitive case which “chiefly expresses possession, material or substance partition (part of the world)”
I found six sources for six forms of gen- sense elements though, in Latin they would probably be referred to as roots. genito- [from L. genitus p.p. of gignere to beget]; gentle, gentry noble, a high birth [L. gentilis, in the same gens ] ; genu- [ L. genu pl. genua the knee] (as in genuflect); genoblast [Gr genos, sex]; genocide [ Gr. genos, race] ; Genoese, Genovese [Gr. genos, race] This was derived from Genoa.
In reviewing all these uses of gen-, whether we call it a root or a sense element, they all have the sense of gift or given, with one major exception. That exception is the grammar. The Latin grammar, when it was imposed on English, carried the idea that masculine, feminine, and neuter were all material partitions or possessions.
In our language code G is Gyfu, the Gracious Giver so, G always refers to gifts we are given. This is a fundamental principle. Nyd is need and needs are expressed in English as N. We also have a letter which was known as Ingwaz and was written as a ligated ng. It is now expressed as ng and as gn, both of which express the fundamental principle of ‘give and need’ , the idea that everything in nature gives and everything needs. To view anything or anyone strictly as a possession is not natural. That is a skewed view. History demonstrates how twisted things get when we think we completely own anything or anyone.
The word gender does refer to the gifts within ;however, gender is not about regulation reproductive equipment whether we are referring to trees, humans, or any other plants or animals. Gender refers to many varied gifts which are contained within all living things. These things do not stay the same throughout the lifespan of the lifeform, whatever it is. This has been known for thousands of years and there are stories to support this observation. 01-10-2017JOH
- Judith has written (and re-written) the pages below, initially for a book and now for this website. These files are still under revision, and should not be treated as stable documents.