Phenomenon of Masculinity and Femininity: An Etymological Study

Baker Mohammad Mahmoud Abu Muili, Mansour Abdu-Kareem Salem AL-Kfaween


The classification of human beings, animals, and inanimate objects into masculine and feminine is quite important. As language is deemed a vivid picture of life and the society we live in, we have found it influenced by this classification. When we consider the history of the Indo-European, the Semitic and Hamitic languages, we usually find a distinction between masculine and feminine nouns. However, some languages provided a detailed picture of nouns’ gender as they classified nouns into masculine, feminine, and neuter or more. Generally speaking, most common languages classified nouns into Masculine and feminine. Thus, this study was conducted so as to deeply and completely understand this linguistic phenomenon. Moreover, the study focused on noun gender classification in Arabic and investigated the concept of “Al-Asalah” (Etymology). Furthermore, the study showed that ancient Arab linguists were greatly interested in this phenomenon. As part of their interests, Arab linguists wrote various books that pinpointed the need to differentiate between masculine and feminine nouns. Additionally, this study investigated the grammatical categories and their relations to femininity and masculinity. After that, the study linked between Femininity and perceptions then explained types of feminine nouns in Arabic and their morphological markers compared with other Semitic languages.



Masculinity; Femininity; Arabic; Etymology; Linguistics

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