Grammar and Gender: Early Sources


  • Χλόη Μπάλλα University of Crete



Aristophanes Clouds 659f. provides us with our earliest extant evidence concerning an interest in the relation between grammatical and biological or social gender. There is nο doubt that the Sophists' teaching about coπect use of speech or orthoepeia forms the background of Aristophanes' discussion. Α few testimonies from Protagoras have led some scholars to suggest that the interest in the relation between grammatical and biological or social gender comes from a Sophistic source. Ιn this paper Ι argue that such a relation (a) does not square with our evidence οη Protagoras, who hardly had in mind any distinction between grammar and semantics; and (b) is further undermined by modern research οn gender which shows that the distinction between male and female itself is a historical phenomenon.

Author Biography

Χλόη Μπάλλα, University of Crete

Τμήμα Φιλοσοφικών και Κοινωνικών Σπουδών
Πανεπιστήμιο Κρήτης



How to Cite

Μπάλλα Χ. (2005). Grammar and Gender: Early Sources. Ariadne, 11, 129–143.