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I want to say something like:

Bob has two children. I don't know both of their genders.

First of all I want it to be a compound sentence with a comma; second of all I want to use these words/phrases: "neither", "of which". The second part (a clause) of this sentence might need to be inverted to naturally connect to the first part.

Any thoughts can be helpful.

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6  
I can't help asking 'Why?' –  Barrie England Aug 29 '12 at 16:25
    
Nouns have genders: people have sexes. –  TimLymington Aug 29 '12 at 22:52
    
Would it not be 'either'? "I don't know either of their genders?" –  Grace Nov 24 '12 at 10:48

2 Answers 2

Bob has two children does the job, all by itself.

By Grice's Quantity Maxim, if the speaker had known the genders, they would have indicated them in the sentence; but since the speaker didn't indicate the genders, their ignorance is conversationally implicated.

The two sentences quoted

Bob has two children. I don't know both of their genders.

don't go together well, for a variety of reasons.

  1. The second sentence is ambiguous, like any negative governing a quantifier.
  2. Making the second sentence into a relative clause modifying children involves Pied-Piping.
  3. Relativization also involves inverting the quantifier and its focus NP with the negative.

Any such complex sentence would be very hard to understand, and thus not recommended.

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Bob has two children. Elegant. And I'd probably want a second sentence (dependent on what had been said before) for the new information if required. –  Edwin Ashworth Aug 29 '12 at 16:47
    
One can always say more, if required. –  John Lawler Aug 29 '12 at 16:53
    
Yes, except I think you've "conversationally implicated" the idea that the children's genders are in fact relevant to the conversation. Feasibly the speaker knows gender is relevant, but whoever he's talking to doesn't (and the speaker knows or suspects this to be so). In which case the shortened version fails to convey all the information implicit in even OP's ambiguous/ungainly version. –  FumbleFingers Aug 29 '12 at 16:53
    
Right. Deletion loses information. One doesn't always follow Grice's maxims; and one doesn't always expect others to follow them, either. And, most importantly, one doesn't always share presuppositions with one's conversation partners. –  John Lawler Aug 29 '12 at 16:55
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Me, I'm still trying to figure out why OP chose to use "genders", which as Barrie implies, is a bit weird. I wouldn't think that about "names", or "ages" though, so perhaps it's a cultural thing. –  FumbleFingers Aug 30 '12 at 1:06

One might say “Bob has two children, neither of whose gender is known to me.” Which would be inappropriate for referring to people (assuming the children are people). But slightly less clumsy would be “Bob has two children, whose genders I don't know” or “Bob has two children, but I don't know of what genders.” In a statement like this, it is difficult to avoid unintended implications, such as whether the children are of the same sex, or whether you know that information, or if you know it but don't know which child is male and which female.

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