https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daviddempsay

Question about gender of german nouns

When a new noun enters the German language, does the person who coins this new word get the privilege of deciding its gender? Also, who gets to decide how to form the plural of a new nown? Is there any equivalent to the French Academy for German?

July 3, 2017

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jzsuzsi

A similar question appeared a week ago: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23234029

When borrowing a foreign word, there are some guidelines to the gender (contradicting each other, of course):1. keep the gender of the source language, 2. based or the ending, 3. gender of a similar German word...

There are rare occasions where a person get the privilege of deciding a word's gender. I heard a story: Dénes Kőnig wrote one of the first graph theory articles, in German, where he introduced "der Graph". (the word der Graf = count/earl existed earlier, so it's good that he wrote it with ph)

July 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daviddempsay

Thanks for your reply. I had wondered if the actual practice might be something along the lines you described.

July 6, 2017
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