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Section 2. Of Gender. GENDER is the distinction of nouns, with regard to sex,
. There are three genders, the MASCULINE, the FEMININE, and the NEUTER.
The Masculine Gender denotes animals of the male kind : as, a man, a horse, a bull.
The Feminine Gender signifies animals of the female kind :
; as, a woman, a duck, a hen. The Neuter Gender denotes objects which are neither males nor females: as, a field, a house, a garden.
Some substantives, naturally neuter, are, by a figure of speech, converted into the masculine or feminine gender : as, when we say of the sun, he is setting; and of a ship, she sails well.
Figuratively, in the English tongue, we commonly give the masculine gender to nouns which are conspicuous for the attributes of imparting or communicating, and which are by nature strong and efficacious. Those, again, are made feminine, which are conspicuous for the attributes of containing or bringing forth, or which are peculiarly beautiful or amiable. Upon these principles, the sun is said to be masculine ; and the moon, being the receptacle of the sun's light, to be feminine. The earth is generally feminine. A ship, a country, a city, &c. are likewise made feminine, being receivers or containers. Time is always masculine, on account of its mighty efficacy. Virtue is feminine from its beauty, and its being the object of love. Fortune and the church are generally put in the feminine gender.
The English language has three methods of distinguishing the sex, viz.
1. By different words : as, Male. Female.
2. By a difference of termination : as, Male. Female.
Abbess. Landgrave. Landgravine. Actor. Actress. Lion
Lioness. Administrator. Administratrix. Marquis. Marchioness. Adulterer. - Adultress. Master. Mistress. Ambassador. Ambassadress. Mayor. Mayoress.. Arbiter. Arbitress. Patron. Patroness. Baron. Baroness.
Peeress. Bridegroom. Bride. Poet.
Poetess. Benefactor. Benefactress. Priest. Priestess. Caterer. Cateress. Prince. Princess. Chanter. Chantress. Prior. Prioress. Conductor. Conductress. Prophet. Prophetess. Count. Countess. Protector. Protectress. Deacon. Deaconess.
Shepherd. Shepherdess. Duke.
Duchess. Songster. Songstress. Elector. Electress. Sorcerer. Sorceress. Emperor. Empress.
Sultan. Enchanter. Enchantress.
Sultana. Executor. Executrix. Tiger. Tigress. Governor. Governess. Traitor. Traitress. Heir.
Heiress. Tutor. Tutoress. Hero.
Heroine. Viscount. Viscountess. Hunter Huntress. Votary.
Hostess. Widower. Widow. Jew.
3. By a noun, pronoun, or adjective, being prefixed to the substantive : as,
A cock-sparrow. A hen-sparrow
A female child. Male descendants. Female descendants. It sometimes happens, that the same noun is either mas. culine or feminine. The words parent, child, cousin, friend, neighbour, servant, and several others, are used indifferently for males or females.
Nouns with variable terminations contribute to conciseness and perspicuity of expression. We have only a sufficient number of them to make us feel our want; for when
a woman, she is a philosopher, an astronomer, a builder, a weaver, we perceive an impropriety in the termination, which we cannot avoid ; but we can say, that she is a botanist, a student, a witness, a scholar, an orphan, a companion, because these terminations have not annexed to them the notion of sex.
Section 3. Of Number. NUMBER is the consideration of an object, as one or
Substantives are of two numbers, the singular and the plural.
The singular number expresses but one object; as, a chair, a table.
The plural number signifies more objects than one ; as, chairs, tables.
Some nouns, from the nature of the things which they express, are used only in the singular form; as, wheat, pitch, gold, sloth, pride, &c.; others, only in the plural form; as, bellows, scissors, lungs, riches, &c.
Some words are the same in both numbers; as, deer, sheep, swine, &c
The plural number of nouns is generally formed by adding s to the singular : as, dove, doves; face, faces;
thought, thoughts. But when the substantive singular ends
in x, ch soft, sh, șs, or s, we add es in the plural: as, bos, boxes; church, churches; lash, lashes; kiss, kisses; rebus, rebusses. If the singular ends in ch hard, the plu
. ral is formed by adding s; as, monarch, monarchs ; distich, distichs.
Nouns which end in o, have sometimes es, added to the plural; as, cargo, echo, Hero, negro, manifesto, potato, volcano, wo: and sometimes only s; as, folio, nuncio, punctilio, seraglio.
Nouns ending in f, or fe, are rendered plural by the change of those terminations into ves : as, loaf, loaves ; half, halves; wife, wives : except grief, relief, reproof, and several others, which form the plural by the addition of s. Those which end in ff, have the regular plural : as, ruff, ruffs ; except, staff, staves.
Nouns which have y in the singular, with no other vowel in the same syllable, change it into ies in the plural : as, beauty, beauties; ily, flies. But the y is not changed. when there is another vowel in the syllable: as, key, keys: delay, delays ; attorney, attorneys.
Some nouns become plural by changing the a of the singular into e : as, man, men ; woman, women; alderman, aldermen. The words, ox and child, form oxen and children; brother, makes either brothers, or brethren. Sometimes the diphthong oo is changed into ee in the plural : as, foot, feet; goose, geese ; tooth, teeth. Louse and mouse make lice and mice. Penny makes pence, or pennies, when the coin is meant : die, dice (for play ;) die, dies (for coining.)
It is agreeable to analogy, and the practice of the generality of correct writers, to construe the following words as plural nouns ; pains, riches, alms : and also, mathematics, inetaphysics, politics, ethics, optics, pneumatics, with other similar names of sciences.
Dr. Johnson says that the adjective much is sometimes a term of number, as well as of quantity. This may ac count for the instances we meet with of its associating with pains as a plural noun : as, much pains.” The connexjon, however, is not to be recommended.
The word news is now almost universally considered as belonging to the singular number.
The noun means is used both in the singular and the plural number.
The following words, which have been adopted from the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin languages, are thus distinguished, with respect to number. Singular. Plural. Singular.
Plural. Cherub. Cherubim. Datum. Data. Seraph. Seraphim.
Effluvium. Efluvia. Antithesis. Antitheses.
Encomium. Automaton. Automata.
Encomiums. Basis. Bases.
Erratum. Errata. Crisis. Crises.
Genius. Genii.* Criterion. Criteria. Genus. Genera. Diæresis. Diæreses.
Index. Ellipsis. Ellipses.
Indexes. Emphasis. Emphases. Lamina. Laminæ. Hypothesis. Hypotheses. Medium. Media. Metamor- Metamor- Magus. Magi.
phosis. phoses. Memoran- Memoranda or Phænomenon. Phænomena. dum. Memorandums
Appendices or Radius. Radii. Appendix.
Appendixes. Stamen. Stamina.
Calces. Some words, derived from the learned languages, are confined to the plural number: as, antipodes, credenda, literati, minutiæ.
The following nouns being, in Latin, both singular and plural, are used in the same manner when adopted into our tongue : hiatus, apparatus, series, species.
SECTION 4. Of Case. In English, substantives have three cases, the nominative, the possessive, and the objective.
* Genü, when denoting aerial spirits : Geniuses, when signifying persoas of genlus.
Indexes, when it signifies pointers, or Tables of contents : Indices, when referring to Algebraic quantities.
$ The possessive is sometimes called the genitive case; and tbe objective, the accusative.