Dem Arafis (demarafis) wrote in linguaphiles,
Dem Arafis
demarafis
linguaphiles

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? For example, in French, the pronoun used to refer to a group of girls in third person is "elles" and the pronoun used to refer to a group of boys in third person is "ils". However, if there is even one boy with a group of girls, the pronoun "ils" is used to refer to this type of mixed group.

Is there a language that uses the French equivalent of "elles" instead of "ils" in this kind mixed group? If there are languages that uses the feminine plural instead of the masculine plural for a mixed-gender group in first person and/or second person, please list them as well!

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?

The questions came up when I read a post about the use of male pronouns as the default pronoun for programmers/in programming and its effects. I thought the author's quote "language doesn’t just describe reality, but also constructs it" is particularly interesting, hence my wondering about languages with feminine-default pronouns.
Subscribe

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 18 comments