I am looking for a generic term describing the relation actor:actress or Paul:Paula, like actress is a ____ of actor. In German, there is the term Movierung for this, and it works in both directions (masculine -> feminine and feminine -> masculine), but looking up Movierung in dictionaries did not reveal an English equivalent.

P.S. Of course, I can say "a feminine form of" and "a masculine form of", including the direction of derivation. I am interested in a term on the same level of abstraction as Movierung.

  • 1
    Pairs of the type "actor - actress" are called gender-specific nouns, nouns of the type "actress" and "Paula" are called feminitives. Movierung is close to "gender specification". – Yellow Sky Aug 25 '20 at 14:27
  • 1
    English uses terms like Motionsfemininum as well, though obviously mostly in quite limited circles, and usually italicised as an obvious loan word. If your audience is linguists, there’s a good change they’ll understand Movierung or Motion. For a general audience, though, I don’t think there’s a word for the concept, beyond descriptive phrases like ‘gendered derivation’ or somesuch. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 25 '20 at 19:59
  • @JanusBahsJacquet: A high level "no" answer like yours is an acceptable outcome of this question to me. – jk - Reinstate Monica Aug 25 '20 at 22:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.