[From Manx Soc vol 2, Kelly's Manx Grammar]



Although the primitive and proper use of genders be only to distinguish one sex from another, yet the Manks, like the Greeks, Latins, French, Irish, &c., observe that distinction even in inanimate things, among which there is neither male nor female; so that there is not one noun in Manks but what is either masculine, feminine, or common.*

There are two** ways to know the gender of a noun.

The first, by its signification.

The second, by its termination.

The proper names of men, winds, months; also qualities, good or bad; metals; and the infinitive mood of verbs, when used substantively, are known by their signification to be of the masculine gender.

Words ending in oo, ey, ed, er, are masculine by their termination; as jannoo, an action; jalloo, an image; goo, a report; bainney, milk; phreeney, a pin; eggey, a web; dooinney, a man; red, a thing; bred, a prick; gred, a heat; dunver, a murderer; eeasyder, a borrower; ynseyder, an instructor.

Words ending in oge, age, or ag, are feminines by their terminations; as, rollage, a star; burdoge, a shrimp; cuinniag, a mull.

The names of women, countries, rivers, cities; also appellatives of trees and stones; are of the feminine gender; so are nouns ending in ee joined to an adjective feminine, whether of the singular or plural number; as, peccee, sinners; peccee hreih, miserable sinners; moddey joogh, a greedy dog, masculine, pl. moddee yoogh, feminine: so are the singulars cree, shee, &c.

Words that are common to both sexes, as, chaghter, a messenger; sharvaant, a servant; paitchey, a child, are of the common or two genders.

When the article y or yn is placed before a noun beginning with s, if t be substituted in the place of s, so that the s be eclipsed and loseth its sound; then that noun is of the feminine gender; as--

No Article

With Article

Sooill, an eye.

Yn tooill, the eye.

Sauin, Hallowing-tide.

Yn tauin, the Hallowing-tide.

Soalt, a barn.

Yn toalt, the barn.

But if the noun admits not of t, then it is of the masculine gender.

When the article yn is placed before a noun beginning with a consonant, and the said article is changed into ny in the genitive case singular, that noun is of the feminine gender; but when the article yn remains in the genitive singular, then the noun is of the the masculine gender; as--



Yn fer, the man,

Yn er, of the man.

Yn ven, the woman,

Ny mrieh, of the woman.

But in finding out the proper gender of the substantive given, provided the substantive begin with one or other of the mutable consonants, the most certain rule is--

A word beginning with any of the mutable consonants, if, upon putting the article y or yn before it, its initial consonant cloth naturally change into its soft; as, cooish, a cause, yn chooish, the cause; grian, the sun, yn ghrian, the sun; moyrn, pride, yn voyrn, the pride; miljid, sweetness, yn viljid, the sweetness: such words are infallibly of the feminine gender. But if the initial consonant change not thereupon, we may justly conclude such words to be of the masculine gender; as, goo, fame, y goo, the fame; keayn, sea, yn keayn, the sea; corp, a body, yn corp, the body; cappan, a cup, yn cappan, the cup.

* There is no such anomaly as a neuter gender.--Cregeen.

** As there are no determined rules to know the genders of substantives inanimate, I have been very exact in setting down the gender of every noun in my Dictionary; for adjectives being to express the quality of the substantives, follow their genders, by becoming either masculine or feminine; which is effected by a change in the initiate of the adjectives.


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