I’ve had cause to wonder recently how it is that many western languages — like French and Spanish, for example — have the concept of gender built into them (le chien / la voiture, etc.) whereas English does not. How and when did English evolve away from this? Or was it ever a part of English?
Part of my curiousity comes from a newfound fondness for the word Spanish word compañera which is high on my list as a replacement for partner, lover, spouse, wife, etc.
If there are any linguists (or just general smart people) in the audience, I’d appreciate having some light shed on this language/gender issue.