“Yo” said, “yo” said…

May 21, 2012 by

A recent LotW post discussed a newly introduced gender-neutral third person Swedish pronoun hen. It appears that a similar gender-neutral pronoun is developing naturally in a local dialect of American English. According to a post on...

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“Hen” said, “hen” said

Apr 15, 2012 by

In many Western countries concerns are raised about gender-specific language. The French hurry to get rid of mademoiselle. The Swedes are not far behind in wanting to get rid of ‘him’ and ‘her’. It has been...

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Google Translates Gender

Feb 13, 2012 by

[Thanks to David Pesetsky for inspiring this post] The topics of Google Translate and of translating gender have been discussed in this blog before. I have argued that Google Translate fails to understand language (as many journalists...

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I love you!

Dec 24, 2011 by

As linguists, we often tell our students — without giving it a second thought — that all languages are equally grammatically complex. As Guy Deutcher puts it in his Through the Language Glass, “equal complexity is...

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Fruit, vegetable, boy, girl…

Aug 24, 2011 by

It may appear from the previous post that gender is “lost in translation” only when a literary text is translated from a language with no grammatical gender system into a language that does have one, but this is far from...

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