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 “addresser” is in general likely to know the sex of the “addressee”), and not true in an important form of written document, 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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