katharsis (skibomb613) wrote in linguaphiles,

Gender-Neutral Pronouns

I remember not too long ago hearing about a movement in English to adopt an adequate set of gender-neutral third-person pronouns in the language --- things like "zim" & "hir". I faintly remember that this was supported solely or in part by the transgender community, for cases where the usual "he" or "she" is not appropriate. Forgive any errors or misconceptions, but I know very little about it. Hence the reason for this post!

Where can I find more information (scholarly research would be ideal) about the gender-neutral pronoun issue in English? I'm also hoping to hear from speakers of other languages who know about (or can point me to research written about) the creation of gender-neutral pronouns in their language, for various reasons. I'm focused on languages spoken primarily in Asia or the Middle East, but any and all information is welcome.

I don't expect there to be much work out there, but I thought I'd ask. I also figured this was the best community to post in.


EDIT: I'm not too worried about finding a successful introduction of gender-neutral words, because that's a real feat in and of itself. I'm looking for cases where certain groups within a larger society, such as transgendered individuals, have adopted or created these types of words for themselves, and their use is necessarily *not* mainstream at this stage. Of course, the language itself probably has to already encode for gender in its subject or verb forms. But even in Chinese, where the idea of the gendered "ta1" is something that only comes out in writing, is there even a "rebelling" against the 他/她 distinction? Does 它 suffice?

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