Calzado.

Another tidbit from Goncharov’s Фрегат “Паллада” [The Frigate Pallada]: they’re in Manila and have finally found what is apparently the only inn/hotel in town, run by a Frenchman named Demien and his wife, and Demien recommends that after the siesta (when it’s too hot to go out and everything’s closed anyway) they take a look at the кальсадо [kal’sado], which he explains thus: “Это гулянье около крепости и по взморью: туда по вечерам собираются все кататься” [It’s a promenade around the fortress and along the seashore: everyone goes for a drive there in the evenings]. It’s transparently a Spanish word, and Goetze renders it Calzado, which seems reasonable, but as far as I know calzado means only ‘footwear’ (and the feminine form calzada means only ‘road(way)’). The phenomenon itself is familiar from all around the Mediterranean, where it is called volta, passeggiata, or korzo (see this 2009 post), and I suppose it’s possible calzado was a mid-19th-century term specific to Manila, but it’s not mentioned in La lengua española en Filipinas by Antonio Quilis and Celia Casado Fresnillo (CSIC Press, 2008), and I can’t find any other references to it by googling, so I suspect that Goncharov may have misunderstood/misheard what his host said. But I thought I’d bring it here so the Varied Reader can put in their dos reales.

Update. It turns out the original form is Calzada (feminine); as a quote found by Y in the comments below says, the Calzada was “what Hyde Park is to London and the Champs Élysées to Paris and the Meidan to Calcutta… the gathering place of the opulent classes… crowded with carriages, equestrians and pedestrians.” You can see an excellent image here.

Comments

  1. In the early 20C the word was paseo in the mixed jargon of Philippine Americans; unfortunately, I forget where I read this. This LH comment confirms paseo for Mexico, which is where the Philippines were governed from under Spanish rule.

    The islands also kept Mexico time until 1845, leading to the question “What happened in Manila on December 31st, 1844?”. The answer is “Nothing at all”, as that date was skipped in switching the Philippines to be east of the (not yet proclaimed) International Date Line as geography and trade demanded.

  2. The dictionary of the Real Academia Española translates Calzada as ‘pavement’ or ‘paved road’, which fits. Could it be something to do with the Russian lenition of unstressed /o/ to [a]?

    calzada < Vulg. Lat. *calciāta ‘paved road’ < calcāre ‘to tread’ < calx ‘heel’. Calzado ‘shoe’ ultimately < calx again.

  3. Mexico, which is where the Philippines were governed from under Spanish rule.

    Only until 1821, when Mexico became independent; after that, it was governed directly from Spain.

    The dictionary of the Real Academia Española translates Calzada as ‘pavement’ or ‘paved road’

    Yes, as I mentioned in the post, but I don’t see how that fits. A road is not a volta.

  4. If it is a гулянье, where people walk, why кататься?

    Anyway, a stone-paved road overlooking the water is a fine place for a walk. If most other roads or paths were muddy or dusty and rutted, one would refer to that one as The Paved Path, whatever its purpose.

  5. If it is a гулянье, where people walk, why кататься?

    Yes, I wondered about that too; either usage was different in the 1850s or some people walked while others rode.

    Anyway, a stone-paved road overlooking the water is a fine place for a walk.

    Yes, it is, but we don’t call a walk a road.

  6. danielsyrovy says:

    the Corpus of the Real Academia Española (http://corpus.rae.es/cordenet.html) gives examples of ‘calzada’ meaning a road with a view, as it were, e.g. “la naturaleza de la calzada o camino que conduce a ellos”; “por aquella hermosísima calzada, por aquellos risueños y pintorescos valles”; “Anduvimos toda la playa hasta Biñang, entrando allí por una buena calzada”; “Es bien particular que estando tan cerca de Manila no se compongan cuatro brazas de calzada para dar á los vecinos el recreo de un excelente paseo y para la comunicación de varios pueblos.”; “Esta calzada es hermosa, como todas las de esta provincia”
    it is by no means very common, but filtered for 19th century only, the corpus still has close to 200 examples (only part of which fit the description). I never knowingly came across the word, but to me the evidence suggests plausibly that this is what is intended

  7. If it is a гулянье, where people walk, why кататься?

    the other meaning of the verb гулять here is to have a celebration or a wild party.
    The oft-used, at the time, stable expression народное гуляние, lit. people’s promenade but really a mass celebration outdoors.

  8. Trond Engen says:

    Is this about the reading of the Russian word translated into promenade? In your translation he says that [It’s a promenade around the fortress and along the seashore: everyone goes for a drive there in the evenings], essentially equalling ‘calzado/a’ with ‘promenade’. The meaning here is clearly “road for recreational walking” rather than “recreational walk”, so there’s no calling a walk a road.

  9. Trond Engen says:

    Yes, obviously. Can’t read.

  10. January First-of-May says:

    I wonder what, exactly, they were driving (the Russian literally translates as “rolling”, but it’s an idiom that basically means “driving for leisure”) in the 1850s… not automobiles, presumably (since they hadn’t been invented yet).
    I’m guessing some kind of horse-drawn carriages?

  11. Yup, he calls them коляски.

  12. It is calzada. The traveller Sir John Bowring described the Calzada in 1858 as “what Hyde Park is to London and the Champs Élysées to Paris and the Meidan to Calcutta… the gathering place of the opulent classes… crowded with carriages, equestrians and pedestrians.”

    Back to Goncharov. Would his dialect have neutralized unstressed /o/ and /a/?

  13. Trond Engen says:

    No, not obviously. I think I’ll stick to the question.

    A promenade is a leasurely walk, and by extension a road for leasurely walking, and by narrowing a seaside road for leasurely walking, and by extension a seaside road chiefly for leasurely use.

    A гулянье is also a leasurely walk, and by extension a road for leasurely walking, Why not the rest of the semantic development found in English? Or rather, as Dmitry’s example suggests, гулянье is frivolous outdoors activity in general, and by extension a place for frivolous outdoors activity?

  14. OK, that picture is completely convincing. The landlord said “You should see the Calzada!” and Goncharov thought he meant the activity that took place there rather than the road. Many thanks! (And yes, final unstressed -o and -a are equally schwa in Russian.)

  15. I learned from someone here on LH that not all Russian dialects do this. Would Goncharov’s? He grew up in Simbirsk (Ulyanov Oblast’) in southern Russia, then went to study in Moscow.

  16. marie-lucie says:

    calzada

    The etymologically corresponding French word is la chaussée ‘the middle part of a street, normally paved (with paving stones, asphalt, etc) and intended for vehicular traffic’. A street also usually has sidewalks, meant for pedestrians. I remember commenting on this word here some years ago.

    As in Spanish, words with the same root have to do with footwear: chausser ‘to put shoes on (sbdy), to make shoes for (sbdy)’, chaussé(e) ‘having shoes on’, le chausseur ‘shoe manufacturer or designer’, la chaussure ‘shoe; shoe industry’.

    The old word les chausses referred to a kind of pants (“breeches”?), reaching from the waist to just below the knees, worn by most European men until the 19th century. On paintings from the time of the American Revolution, the Founders of the US are shown wearing these garments above knee-high stockings.

  17. Since you’re here, m-l, I have a question that involves French. I’ve just encountered the uncommon Russian word пате [paté], meaning a kind of round or roundish furniture with a soft seat; you can see images here. One site says it’s from French, but I know of no French word that sounds like that and has that meaning; the only word I know is pâté (definitions). Any thoughts?

  18. A гулянье is also a leasurely walk, and by extension a road for leasurely walking, Why not the rest of the semantic development found in English? Or rather, as Dmitry’s example suggests, гулянье is frivolous outdoors activity in general, and by extension a place for frivolous outdoors activity?
    Actually, to my knowlegde гулянье only ever refers to the action / event, not the place; i.e. there is no extension of the meaning to “road” or “fixed place where everybody takes their walk”.

  19. David Marjanović says:

    I learned from someone here on LH that not all Russian dialects do this. Would Goncharov’s? He grew up in Simbirsk (Ulyanov Oblast’) in southern Russia, then went to study in Moscow.

    That’s a yes; lack of the merger is northern, with Moscow, St. Petersburg and Vladivostok all counting as central.

  20. Are you talking about prestress vowels or unstressed final vowels? Because I know about the former, but I’m not aware of the latter.

  21. Maybe пате is a (mis)translitteration of ‘partie’.

  22. But ‘partie’ doesn’t mean that either (leaving aside the fact that it wouldn’t be borrowed with -e instead of -i and the loss of -r-).

  23. marie-lucie says:

    LH: I’ve just encountered the uncommon Russian word пате [paté], meaning a kind of round or roundish furniture with a soft seat; you can see images here

    According to the pictures, this Russian term covers a multitude of styles, some of them quite extravagant! No, I don’t know of this meaning for the French word, but the shapes of the pieces at the top of the image look like they could be inspired by something edible, such as a pâté en croûte (meat pâté enclosed within a pastry crust) as brought to the table to be cut into individual portions. In Russia the meaning must have been extended to other seating furniture.

    The round pieces divided into three seats seem to date from the time when fashionable women wore extremely wide skirts, difficult to manage on regular seats as well as preventing those seats from being placed close enough together for intimate conversation. Leaning against the central “back” allows the sitters’ heads to be closer together. These were not made for the average home, but for houses with large salons for entertaining many guests.

  24. Thanks, that all makes sense!

  25. David Marjanović says:

    Are you talking about prestress vowels or unstressed final vowels?

    Me? No idea.

  26. Диван-пате

    Во времена светских балов обязательным предметом интерьера был диван-пате (от французского pâté — «пирожок»), служивший центром притяжения для гостей.

  27. In this furniture history book, they claim that pâté as a pastry-shaped furniture was a fashionable invention in Paris in the 1820s, and took a special shape of completely wrapped-up upholstered furniture without wooden parts in sight by 1838 under “Дервийе”
    https://books.google.com/books?id=TPgmAQAAIAAJ&dq=%D0%BF%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B5+%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%B1%D0%B5%D0%BB%D1%8C&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=%D0%BF%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B5+

  28. Very interesting, thanks!

  29. marie-lucie says:

    la chaussée (update)

    I had forgotten one case (probably among more) where chaussée corresponds to Calzada ‘promenade’ (place for a leisurely stroll): a major street in Paris called la Chaussée d’Antin, not far from the Gare St-Lazare and the Opera, in a business area especially known for its major department stores. The Chaussée in question must have existed before the opening of other major streets by Baron Haussmann during the reign of Napoléon III.

    les chausses : correction: this word was no longer in use by the time of the American and French revolutions, when the garment was called la culotte, worn by most male citizens except for those in physically demanding manual jobs, who wore long pants made of sturdy fabrics. As the French revolutionaries claimed to identify with the proletarians, they nicknamed themselves sans-culottes and all social classes eventually adopted long pants. Nowadays the old meaning of culotte survives in the name of the special pants (la culotte de cheval) worn for horseriding, with a very wide seat and short narrow legs below the knee, designed to fit inside riding boots.

    When I was very young, most boys wore short pants (above the knee) called la culotte courte before they graduated to long pants at the age of 14 or so. Girls wore dresses or skirts but were allowed to wear long pants (la culotte longue) on snowy days. But otherwise la culotte refers to female and baby underwear.

  30. Trond Engen says:

    For a short time in the 19th century a new concept in Norwegian — that of purpose-built paved roads for driving — was known as a chaussé. Today there’s exactly one road left of that name, Ullernchausséen, now part of Oslo’s outer ringroad. It’s the part that passes through the better western suburb of Ullern, a fact that is not unnoticed by comedians.

    The Norwegian Wikipedia article claims that the word is from Latin calx “calcite” rather than calx “heel”. I doubt there’s any way to know. It also says that English causeway has the same origin. I should have thought of that.

  31. Trond Engen says:

    otherwise la culotte refers to female and baby underwear

    More or less the same thing happened to English knickers. No. nikkers never meant underwear and is the everyday word for the old-fashioned sports garment of knickerbockers. Not as old-fashioned in Norway as anywhere else, I suppose, since its use in cross-country skiing has made it part of the national mythological package.

  32. I see Y’s picture of the calzada shows carriages keeping to the left. Is this a reversed image?

    No. The Phillipines changed to RHT in 1946 (same year as China), because most vehicles were imported from the U.S. Prior to that, it presumably followed the colonial power — Spain was LHT until 1924.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-_and_left-hand_traffic

  33. Here’s an engaging, nuanced account of the calzada, of the painting, and of Manila, which was destroyed by an earthquake soon after all this took place.

    I notice that the carriages are off on the sides (so the horses don’t get distracted?), leaving the middle to the horse riders, and presumably to the pedestrians.

  34. Another idea about why -o and not -a. Could Goncharov have fallen to using the stereotypical Spanish -o, the way Americans speaking pseudo-Spanish say “no problemo”?

  35. Here’s an engaging, nuanced account of the calzada, of the painting, and of Manila

    Thanks very much for that great find! I just wish it reproduced more of the watercolors. Goncharov’s view of the place was positive, much like that of Sir John Bowring.

  36. Another petty annoyance: Goncharov talks about an American named Мегфор [Megfor] who is a partner in the rope factory belonging to Russell & Sturgis of Manila; Goetze calls him by the absurd name “McPhore” (which, even if it existed, would be Макфор or МакФор in Russian), but I can’t come up with any more plausible alternative.

  37. The WP article on street suffixes recognizes walk as one of the standard forms, less common than but analogous to street, avenue, road, boulevard, etc. So we do call a road a walk in certain circumstances (WP adds “usually designates a pedestrian-only space”).

  38. marie-lucie says:

    Trond: The Norwegian Wikipedia article claims that the word is from Latin calx “calcite” rather than calx “heel”. I doubt there’s any way to know. It also says that English causeway has the same origin. I should have thought of that.

    I did not read the Norwegian article, but I looked at the OED (the Etymological dictionary) which derives chaussée or rather its (Old) Northern French equivalent caucee from Latin (via) calciata. It also mentions causeway from older cauceweye. Indeed Old Northern French and more specifically some Norman dialects have preserved ca which French has changed into cha or che (eg NF le cat, ModF le chat ‘cat’), hence Eng cause-, probably originally causse but reformed when causse was no longer understood.

    In Southern France there is a region called les Causses (masc) made of calcareous rock (Latin root calc-, hence calc-s = calx). It is famous for some very deep caves and other underground systems.

  39. There is on Google Books something called The China Directory, a business directory for the China coast, Manila and a few other places. It lists quite a few people working for Russel & Sturgis. I couldn’t find anything resembling Megfor.

  40. From the book “The Perry Mission to Japan, 1853-1854, Volume 1” I learned that the gentleman in question was called Charles D. Mugford.

    Commodore Perry’s squadron visited Manila shortly after the Russians left, so there is considerable detail about their visit.

    Charles D. Mugford was an American mariner and enterpreneur from Mugford family in Salem, Massachusetts, closely involved in China trade.

  41. From the book “The Perry Mission to Japan, 1853-1854, Volume 1” I learned that the gentleman in question was called Charles D. Mugford.

    My god, I never thought that particular question would ever be answered. You people are amazing!

  42. Correction. I missed the bit about the rope factory.

    Then Megfor in question was not Charles D. Mugford, but his brother George Mugford who was murdered by native workmen at his rope factory in Manila in mysterious circumstances in March 1853. (Both brothers were present in Manila at that time.)

    Enquiry for reason of this crime against American citizen was one of the reasons for Perry’s squadron’s visit to Manila.

  43. No, you were right the first time — Goncharov mentions that Mugford’s brother had been murdered by natives.

  44. @John Cowan Walk.

    In student days I lived in Harold Walk, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire.

    There’s a whole slew of Harold X’s — I think the developer was running short of forms. (Harold View had no more of a view than any other.)

    The Walk was a narrow cross-street. You could just about park a car in it, but I guess when it was built (late C19th) nobody was thinking of that.

  45. Mom and dad, both reared in Puerto Rico in the ’20s and ’30s, on occasion back in the ’50s and ’60s told us four kids (all Ohioans) of life on the island. Everything from the rats dancing on the tin roofs to Boy Scout camping on El Yunque but also of local customs:

    Down there, according to dad, the paseo was a sort of dating or guy-meets-girl ritual. With early evening approaching the adolescents would head to the main plaza where the males in single-file slowly ambled around the walk that bordered the plaza. The females would do the same but moving in the opposite direction.

    The way dad told it, paseo was not the path or walk-way but rather the ritual itself. I did phone mom yesterday and she confirmed what dad had described decades ago.

    [Rituals can do their magic, I suppose, but not for mom and dad. Meeting on a steamer that ran the route from New York to the island, dad was headed back for a summer internship in accounting and mom was returning from another year at boarding school.]

  46. @marie-lucie:

    The old word les chausses referred to a kind of pants (“breeches”?), reaching from the waist to just below the knees, worn by most European men until the 19th century.

    That would be hose in English. The Spanish term is again cognate with the French: calzas.

  47. David Marjanović says:

    So that’s the missing link to German Hose, pl. -n “pants, shorts”!

  48. @David Marjanović: unless Swedish/Icelandic/Faroese hosa and Danish/Norwegian hose are German borrowings, this must be a Common Germanic term. I suppose a Gothic form would settle the question.

  49. Hose (in English, German, and Danish/Norwegian) are all adduced to PIE *(s)keu- ‘cover’, same root as in E hide/G Haut. No Gothic examples that I can see, not a thing much spoken of in the New Testament.

    hosa is attested in Old Norse, so probably not a Low German borrowing.

  50. Trond Engen says:

    Another symptom of nativity: In Central Scandinavian it’s a feminine >jamvekt (“balance”) word.

  51. David Marjanović says:

    Huh, so garden hose and firehose are metaphorical extensions in the other direction???

    a feminine jamvekt (“balance”) word

    What is that?

    Feminine in German, too.

  52. Before it was “garden hose,” it was “hose pipe,” which is now obsolete in American, but not in British English.

  53. Trond Engen says:

    Jamvekstregelen, “the balance rule”, says that in ON bisyllabic words with a short root syllable and a simple vowel in the second syllable — i.e. on the form ((C)C(L))VCV — the vowel in the second syllable is not reduced. This is attributed to the balance of prominence between the two syllables. In a core area, the vowels are instead “balanced”, a vowel harmony rule, e.g. hani m. “rooster” > hana; hosa f. “hose, sock” > hoso; mosi m. “moss” > måså; svala f. “swallow (bird)” > s(v)ulu; vera v. “be” > vara. The resulting vowel may vary between the dialects. As may the lengthening of the first syllable.

  54. Here’s a brief description of a paseo in Patagonia in the far future, from Jack Vance’s 1991 sf novel Ecce and Old Earth:

    By the time she had finished, twilight had arrived, to bring the young folk of Pombareales out for the evening promenade. Girls strolled clockwise around the square; the young men went counter-clockwise, the groups exchanging salutes and repartee as they passed each other. Some of the young men issued compliments; others feigned heart attacks or a convulsion in response to the impact of so much beauty. The most fervent bravos of all uttered passionate outcries, such as: ‘Ay-yi-yi!’ or ‘Ahay! I am turning inside out!’ or ‘What exquisiteness!’ or ‘Caray! I have been ravished!” The girls ignored such excesses, sometimes with disdain, but none desisted from the promenade.

    There appears to be no town of that name in Argentina or Chile in the 21C: however, pomba is Galician and Portuguese for ‘dove, pigeon’ (Sp paloma, both < L palumbus, apparently switched genders in Vulgar Latin).

  55. David Marjanović says:

    apparently switched genders in Vulgar Latin

    Presumably by confusion with columba.

    In Scientific (a language with no verbs and almost no morphology), the rock and domestic pigeon is Columba palumbus.

  56. Botanist do use a bit more Latin in author citations, notably ex, in, et, emend[avit], excl[usis] var[ietatibus], non, non […] nec, auct[or].

    There is an ongoing debate on the ietf-language list about whether to tag scientific Latin “la-taxon” or “la-linnaean” (or some close variant of the latter). I favor “la-linnaean”; “la” by itself is Latin of any sort.

  57. Speaking of which, why do species of the masculine genera Pinus and Quercus have feminine forms (e.g. Pinus nigra, Quercus alba)?

  58. Speaking of which, why do species of the masculine genera Pinus and Quercus have feminine forms (e.g. Pinus nigra, Quercus alba)?

    Because tree names second-declension feminines.

    Latin has lots of -us words that are feminine (also a slew of neuter ones), and lots of -a words that are masculine.

  59. Thanks! I remember learning the 1st declension masculines, but not the -us feminines.

  60. marie-lucie says:

    German Hose, pl. -n “pants, shorts” (and English hose, etc)

    There is an old, related French word, surely built on a Germanic (Frankish?) borrowing: le houseau (most often used in the plural), for which the TLFI gives the more modern synonyms la guêtre ‘gaiter’, la jambière ‘legging’. All refer to pairs of outer clothing made of leather or heavy cloth, covering the lower leg, often including the ankle, protecting the stockings or lower pant legs and even the tops of the shoes. These are or were worn for instance by hunters or other people needing to walk and ride through tall grass or brambles.

    The TLFI gives Old French forms hose, huese ‘boot, gaiter’ and the derivative huesel (1170) with the same meaning. I thought that houseau was obsolete, but it is quoted from Madame Bovary (1857) and a work by Giono (1931), both of which include descriptions of rural life. But I think that people nowadays are more likely to wear high rubber boots.

  61. Rodger C says:

    Ille agricola illam quercum ascendit.

  62. marie-lucie says:

    RC, I like it!

  63. @John Cowan

    There appears to be no town of that name in Argentina or Chile in the 21C

    There appears to be no town of that name mentioned in any source collected in the major Spanish-language corpora (CORDE, CREA, Corpus del Español), and it seems morphologically odd in any case: I could have bought Pombarreal (cf. Villarreal, Monterreal, Puertorreal), but I see no reason for the plural adjective. Though one would expect some language change by the time of the Gaean Reach…

  64. Trond Engen says:

    Viva Palombia!.

    I never noticed the pun.

  65. It’s not mentioned in the French, Spanish nor English WP articles. They just say it’s a portmanteau of Paraguay and Colombia. Balompié is the first thing I thought of, too.

  66. In a way, you could say that FLOTUS is also a 2nd declension feminine noun.

  67. Trond Engen says:

    Balompié? Marvelous word, but new to me. I was thinking of the colombe/palombe pun.

  68. Trond Engen says:

    Are the second declension feminine tree words pre-IE animates that became feminines? If so, it might suggest that the feminine gender was first used for individuals-in-a-group and only later came to be associated with female sex.

  69. Trond Engen says:

    Jamvektsregelen, “the balance rule”

    I seriously botched that comment. I’ll try again.

    In a Central Scandinavian region consisting of Eastern/Central Norway and, say West-Central Sweden, there’s a split in the outcome of the second syllable vowel of second tone bisyllabic words. The rule says that when the root syllable (defined as the nucleus and coda) is short, i.e. short vowel and short consonant (no cluster), the vowel in the second syllable is not reduced. This is attributed to equal stress on both syllables. E.g. vera “be” vs. kaste “throw”.

    In a core area, the “balance” vowels are “equalized”, a vowel harmony rule, e.g.

    hani m. “rooster” > hana ~ hanan def.
    hosa f. “hose, sock” > hoso ~ hosoa def.
    mosi m. “moss” > måså ~ måsån def.
    svala f. “swallow (bird)” > s(v)ulu ~ s(v)ulua def.
    vera v. “be” > vara ~ vòri

    The resulting vowel may vary between the dialects.

    In modern dialects the first syllable is invariably long, but some have lenghened the vowel, others the coda consonant, i.e. må:så or mås:å.

  70. Trond, is that the same ‘balance’ that causes the u/o difference in fossilized obliques of feminine nouns in Standard Swedish? Like varumärke/kyrkoherde/till salu/redo?

  71. David Marjanović says:

    If so, it might suggest that the feminine gender was first used for individuals-in-a-group and only later came to be associated with female sex.

    Very interesting – why do you think so?

  72. Trond Engen says:

    That may well be. Kyrko- and redo- both had long first syllables in ON, while it seems that varu- and salu- were short. I suppose o might be a reduced form of u. I know the unreduced vowels in the Norwegian masculines above are from the obliques, whatever that has to do with anything.

    (I should note that hana was a bad example. In the example dialect it has the same outcome as in dialects without equalizing.)

  73. Trond Engen says:

    I think it’s almost generally accepted that early or pre-IE had an animate/inanimate split and an individual/collective split. The IE (or core IE) masculine gender is essentially the old animate gender. Neuter is essentially the old inanimate, with oblique forms being increasingly used in subject position as abstracts gained concrete meanings (or the language accepted inanimate subjects). The feminine arose with old collectives being used for individuals in groups, as for single cows, while the corresponding animate was reserved for the single male, e.g. the ox. If the tree words switched gender wholesale at some point, it seems likely to me that this happened when the feminine-to-be still had the connotations of “individual-in-a-group” rather than “feminine”. With whatever implications that would have for the development of the IE three-gender system.

  74. David Marjanović says:

    So *-n- for the one with a particular property, and *-h₂ for a singulative which later somehow turned feminine?

    Arabic also has feminine singulatives.

  75. Trond Engen says:

    I know.

    I’m not sure what the actual relocating mechanism could be. With a little Deutscher in mind, we might e.g. consider the importance of demonstratives for gender. Let’s say that while the collective was still a collective, there was a singulative demonstrative, one meaning “that particular”. When the proto-feminine was formed, this demonstrative came to mean “that (f.)”, but it had also a historical use when pointing out grammatically singular individuals in a mass. For trees there was no reason for the old singular to be taken as specifically male, or for the male pronoun or demonstrative to replace the singulative, and instead — maybe after a long period of gender fluidity — the words came to acquire regular feminine agreement.

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