ERIC Number: ED206198
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
Sex and Gender in Natural Language.
Percival, W. Keith
The relation between a real-world category (sex) and a linguistic category (gender) is examined. The gender system of Indo-European languages is discussed, and the way gender works in Greek, one of the older Indo-European languages, is examined at some length. The conclusion is that, but for the existence of separate gender-sensitive adjectival and pronominal forms, grammatical gender would not exist in a language like Greek. Total loss of grammatical gender in a language like English happens when adjectival endings signaling gender distinctions disappear by way of phonetic change. The gender system in Finnish, a language without grammatical gender, is described. Finally, a few general comments are made on the question of the relation between sex and gender and on efforts by the feminist movement in the United States to rid English of what are termed sexist words. (Author/AMH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kansas Univ., Lawrence. Dept. of Linguistics.