Gender Shifts in the History of English

Gender Shifts in the History of English

by Anne Curzan
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0521820073

ISBN-13: 9780521820073

Pub. Date: 06/01/2003

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Based on extensive research, Anne Curzan's study makes a major contribution by providing historical perspective on controversial questions regarding the continuing evolution of gender definition. How and why did grammatical gender gradually disappear from English and get replaced by a system where the gender of nouns and the use of personal pronouns depend on the

Overview

Based on extensive research, Anne Curzan's study makes a major contribution by providing historical perspective on controversial questions regarding the continuing evolution of gender definition. How and why did grammatical gender gradually disappear from English and get replaced by a system where the gender of nouns and the use of personal pronouns depend on the natural gender of the referent? How is this shift related to "irregular agreement" (she for ships) and "sexist" language use (generic he) in Modern English? Finally, how is the language continuing to evolve 0n these respects?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521820073
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
06/01/2003
Series:
Studies in English Language Series
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.91(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Defining English gender; 2. The gender shift in histories of English; 3. A history of gender, people and pronouns: the story of generic he; 4. Third-person pronouns in the gender shift: why is that ship a she?; 5. Gender and asymmetrical word histories: when boys could be girls; 6. Implications for non-sexist language reform; Appendix 1. Background on early English personal pronouns; Appendix 2. Helsinki corpus texts and methodology; References; Index.

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