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A typology of genderlects

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Francoise ROSE

Scientific framework and objectives

Genderlects is a term used for language variants based on the gender of speech-act participants, most frequently variants that depend on the gender of the speaker. I deal more specifically with categorical genderlects, i.e. genderlects that are used exclusively and obligatorily by the speakers of a specific gender (and/or used when interacting with addressees of a specific gender). Categorical genderlects are not a matter of frequency or preference, but of grammatical correctness. They are cross-linguistically rare, and they are poorly described. This project started with a survey of genderlects in South America and a first typology of the domains in which genderlects vary (Rose 2015): phonology, lexicon, referential morphology (pronouns and grammatical gender), as well as discourse elements (interjections, particles, connectors). This project also resulted in a study of the distinction between grammatical gender and genderlects in pronouns (Rose 2013), and a study of the interaction between grammatical gender and genderlects in languages that have both systems. The project now extends to a description of genderlects in Chiquitano/Bésɨro (with L. Ciucci), to a comparative study of genderlects within the Tupi family (with N. Chousou-Polydouri), to a world-wide typology of genderlects (with P. Bakker)and to the areal distribution of genderlects within a world-wide balances sample of languages(with Oscar Cocaud-Degrève and in collaboration with the Sinergia project Out of Asia of the University of Zürich).

  • Rose, F., 2013, "Le genre du locuteur et de l'allocutaire dans les systèmes pronominaux: genre grammatical et indexicalité du genre ", Bulletin de la Société de Linguistique de Paris, 108:1, pp. 381-417
  • Rose, F., 2013, "Los generolectos del mojeño ", Liames, 13, pp. 115-134
  • Rose, F., 2015, "On male and female speech and more: categorical gender indexicality in indigenous South American languages", International Journal of American Linguistics, 81:4, pp. 495-537
  • Rose, F., 2018, "A typology of languages with both grammatical gender and genderlects", in Non-canonical gender systems, Fedden, S., Audring, J., Corbett, G. (eds), Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 211-246
  • Rose, F., Bakker, P., 2016, "A typological survey of genderlects", Colloquium of the Linguistics Department, University of Oregon, Eugene, 7 octobre 2016

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