Le nom marque le genre de la personne, sauf au vocatif et malgré l’usage – réservé – de noms neutres (Mopurgo Davies 2000)

« Clearly from a Greek point of view classification according to sex is a primary consideration. Hence the creation of Athanippe, Theodora, Diodote. The gender of an adjective (including a compound in adjectival function) is disambiguated by the syntax of the sentence in which it occurs, but this is not necessarily true for a personal name, certainly not true in one of the most uses of names, as forms of adress (note: Forms of adress need not have been the primary motivation for the formal marking of gender; here too the obvious reference is to Socrates’ complaint in Aristophane’ Clouds (685 ff.) that the vocative Amunia sounds like a feminine. The point is that in forms of adress the « adresser » is in general likely to know the sex of the « adressee »), and not true in an important form of written docuemnt, the list. In the history of Greek over a long periode, a combination of factors, tends to introduce a formal marking of gender in all nominal inflection, but the phenomenon occurs first in personal names, so that the sex of individuals may be formally marked. A name like Athanippe is particularly striking if we remember that it is a compound of hippos and that hippos, which can be preceded by both the masculine and feminine article, indicates both a stallion and a mare (note: Some women’s names in Greek are neuter, but this need nos count as an exception to the general need for marking sex differences. Men’s names are never neuter). » (Mopurgo Davies 2000: 20-21)


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