Endearment, respect, and disdain through linguistic gender
journal contributionposted on 16.11.2022, 04:02 authored by Alexandra AikhenvaldAlexandra Aikhenvald
Linguistic genders are usually assigned to nominal referents on the basis of such core semantic properties as sex (or natural gender), animacy, humanness, in addition to shape, form and size. In a number of languages, linguistic genders have affective values. Reversing genders ? from feminine to masculine or from masculine to feminine ? often reflects speaker?s attitudes towards the entity, including endearment, respect, and disdain. The paper focuses on semantic effects of gender reversals, and the ways in which the choice of linguistic gender and gender switches may correlate with the implications of social gender as a cultural construct.