February 28th, 2014

Howling Moon

Gendered plural pronouns and gendered methods of addressing a group with mixed genders

Hey linguaphiles, I have 2 questions about gendered plural pronouns.

1) Is there a language with gendered plural pronouns that uses the feminine plural pronoun when referring to groups with both male and female members? Collapse )

2) Is there a language with gendered plural pronouns that uses a separate pronoun - neither the feminine nor the masculine plural - to refer to mixed-gender groups?

I'm more interested in natural languages that has these features, though if there are any conlangs that do as well, please note that the language is a constructed language in the comment. Thanks!

3) Is there any situation in English (or similar languages with masculine default addresses) where a clearly feminine address is acceptable to refer to a mixed-gender group of people?

For example, in English, "guys" is an acceptable neutral way to refer to a group with guys and girls in it. However, if "girls" is used to refer to a group of girls and boys, then it can taken as sarcasm or as an insult to the boys (emasculating the boys). It is not neutral. Sorry, I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself well here. I guess my question is, is there a scenario where using "ladies" or "girls" or similar terms to address a mixed-gender group does not have connotations of emasculating the male members?

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