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Genderless language

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Genderless language

A genderless language is a natural or constructed human language that has no category of grammatical gender. Some linguists use the term "noun class" to be a broader categorization which includes the categorization by gender as a special case.[1]

The notion of "genderless language" must not be confused with that of gender-neutral language. Also, a discourse in a genderless language is not necessarily gender-neutral,[1] although genderless languages exclude many possibilities for reinforcement of gender-related stereotypes, such as using masculine pronouns when referring to persons by their occupations (although some languages that may be identified as genderless, including English, do have distinct male and female pronouns). A lack of gendered pronouns is also distinctive from a lack of gender in grammatical cases.

Genderless languages do have various means to recognize gender, such as gender-specific words (mother, son, etc., and distinct pronouns such as he and she in some cases), as well as gender-specific context, both biological and cultural.[1]

Genderless languages are listed at List of languages by type of grammatical genders.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Yasir Suleiman (ed.) (1999) "Language and Society in the Middle East and North Africa", ISBN 0-7007-1078-7, Chapter 10: "Gender in a genderless language: The case of Turkish", by Friederike Braun


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