1.1. State of research
1.2. General outline
2. Theoretical framework
2.1. Post-structuralist approaches to language and grammar . .
2.2. Hen or egg? Is language structure preceding language use?
2.3. Embodiment of thinking
2.3.1. Metaphors as embodied thinking
2.3.2. Idealized cognitive models
2.3.3. Linguistic relativity
2.4. Language and grammar from a constructivist point of view
2.5. The prestige of structure or a structure of prestige?
2.5.1. Conventionalization and conventionalized meaning .
2.5.2. Reference vs. appellation
Personal appellation and gender
3. Feminist linguistics - overview of the literature
3.1. The development of feminist linguistics
Excursus: the language critique of English
3.1.1. The generic masculine or default
3.1.2. Prescriptive or descriptive?
3.1.4. Sexism = racism?
3.2. Entrenched positions
3.3. German feminist linguistics today
4. Approaches to the study of gender in grammar
4.1. Early approaches on grammatical gender - Greek and Latin
4.2. The continuation of the discussion throughout the middle ages .
4.3. The 17 th, 18 th and 19 th century
5. Gender in modern grammar theory
5.1. The relation between sex and gender revisited
5.2. The status of a feminist perspective in current research
5.2.1. A model of markedness
5.2.3. Development and types of gender
Types of gender systems
5.2.4. Synchronic functions of gender
5.2.5. The generic masculine today
6.1. Corpus linguistics and automated text search
6.1.1. Linguistic corpora versus the internet
6.2. Generating a list of lemmata with the help of DUDEN
6.2.1. Further adaptation with GREP
6.2.2. COSMAS II - corpus search
7. Summary of results and outlook
7.1. Design of MS-Access database
7.2. Results from database test runs
7.3. Summary and outlook
A. Data Sheet I of Database
List of Tables
3.1. Common gender reference
4.1. Claius: Feminine and Masculine Words
6.1. Examples of feminine appellations of institutions with a nominal predicate (N-P)
7.1. Aktion ä rin hits per year n=766
7.2. Aktion ä rin with animate referents n=525; ff = full form
7.3. Aktion ä rin country n=766
7.4. Aktion ä rin with inanimate referents n=226
7.5. Anbieterin countries n=834
7.6. Anbieterin inanimate forms n=234
7.7. Anbieterin country and year n=234
7.8. Anbieterin animate n=174
A.1. Total Numbers of Hits in COSMAS II
List of Figures
2.1. Metaphorical mapping
3.1. MAN-Principle in Human Anatomy Atlases
3.2. Pedestrian Underpass
3.3. Pedestrians and Cyclists
3.4. Hits for Landeshauptfrau in COSMAS II
6.1. Semantic categories of personal appellation with selected examples
6.2. KWIC-display of search results in COSMAS II
6.3. Example for COSMAS II exportation function
6.4. VBA macro
7.1. Input Form (Draft Version)
7.2. MS-Access Database Draft: Data Sheet 1
7.3. MS-Access Database Draft: Data Sheet 2
7.4. Distribution of hits with suffix ‘ -in ’ and gender symmetric patterns for Erzeuger-* in %
7.5. Aktion ä rin hits per year n=766
7.6. Aktion ä rin with animate referents n=525
7.7. Aktion ä rin inanimate referents countries n=226
7.8. Anbieterin: inanimate referent countries n=424
7.9. Anbieterin: inanimate referent peaks
7.10. Anbieterin: country and year
7.11. Anbieterin: animate
The objective of this book is, first of all, to critically evaluate different ap- proaches towards feminist linguistics, especially those that theoretically deal with the strategies of gender symmetric language. This theoretical debate takes place between the poles of diachronic and synchronic linguistic theory, which have been treated as strictly divided approaches since Saussure et al.. Paradoxically, on the one hand, diachrony and synchrony are two independent directions in linguistics, on the other there is the problem that there is no clear line along which they can be divided. Thus, it is discussed if one still can speak of such a strong division of both in the field of feminist linguistics. Furthermore, if such a distinction does not really exist how does this affect the division between language system and language usage (langue vs. parole), a basic dualism which is basically assumed within feminist linguistics. Therefore, this dissertation discusses two basic prob- lems: Which problems arise for feminist linguistic theory if it assumes a strict division between the language system and language usage (langue vs. parole)? Is the differentiation between language system and language usage not analo- gous to other binary oppositions and which consequences does the assumption of underlying oppositional pairs have for the discussion (for example scientific vs. non-scientific, culture vs. nature, etc.). This includes an assumption raised by Hornscheidt (2006, 2003, 1998 and 04.06.2007), who suggests that linguistics has overlooked the importance of the so-called Diskurswende (‘linguistic turn’) that captured the humanities in the 1990s. Or as Günther and Linke (2006) put it:
”Linguistics up to now remarkably has not commented on the paradig- matic aspect and the effective history of the ‘linguistic turn’, at least not in the form of programmatic contributions. Has linguistics even missed out on it? This indeed has to be admitted.” (Günther and Linke, 2006, p. p. 4)
With this Hornscheidt (2006) suggests that linguistics is still a very structuralist field as opposed to other fields in the humanities, which no longer work with a differentiation between discourse and the actual ‘things’ it describes.
1.1. State of research
Feminist linguistics in the German language area is still deprived of recognition as part of the field of linguistics and is often framed as something other, something non-linguistic. It is thus the aim of this study to evaluate the standing of feminist linguistics within the field of linguistics on the one hand and to again raise the dis- cussion on language usage which is claimed by feminist linguistics. The frequent usage of the so-called generic masculine in German is questioned and discussed. Furthermore, the debates on the semantic rooting of sexus in grammatical gender in German are critically evaluated. The scientific argument on gender symmetric language usage is a starting point. The topic is still very controversial, not only in the public sphere but also in university discourse. Linguistics, especially femi- nist linguistics, treats it as part of so-called language system critique (as opposed to language usage critique). Feminist linguistics investigate the possibilities of gender symmetric language within the grammar of a language with a focus on personal appellation. This focus resulted in proposals for gender symmetric lang- uage usage which have now been partly implemented in public discourse - in public institutions it is mandatory to ‘gender’ texts. However, feminists locate a certain backlash in the usage of gender symmetric language strategies and in the public sphere those strategies are still very disliked. The linguistic debate as well stagnates and takes place between the pure formalists and their critics. The former appeal to the regularities and systematics of language from the basis of its naturalness. According to them language(s) function a certain way and this must no be changed through artificial influences from outside. They usually suspect that those who criticize this view confuse grammatical gender with biological sex. A true, serious linguist and grammarian therefore should view grammatical gen- der as a formal category (even if some undefined semantic ‘residue’ is generally accepted). On the other hand, feminist linguists, never questioned the idea of the language system versus language usage but rather it assumes that by ways of political correct language usage the underlying system will gradually be changed. Its main focus was and is the usage of personal appellation.
In this book a recent, post-structuralist theory (constructivist) is used as a framework. Particularly the research of Lann Hornscheidt provides starting point, which was presented in the book Die sprachliche Benennung von Personen aus konstruktivistischer Sicht (2006). Hornscheidt defines grammar as a form of lang- uage usage which is more or less conventionalized. Grammatical gender is a category of knowledge in which information also is more or less conventionalized. Hornscheidt’s approach is based on Marmaridou’s (2000) definition of ‘conven- tionalized’ meaning, which is that contextual meaning is ‘lost’ and ‘schematized’ by ongoing repetition. Even the elusive category of grammatical gender has a certain semantic content (or as said before ‘residue’) which is not even denied by traditional linguistics. It is rather unclear, if or to what extent this information influences the so-called language system. By using a constructivist frame the de- bate on feminist linguistics can be viewed from a new perspective. It is possible to ask how far the semantic content of grammatical gender (especially the content ‘sex’) is schematized.
1.2. General outline
In the second chapter of this dissertation a new perspective on grammar will be presented as a framework. This framework is based on the work of Lann Hornscheidt and thus it is constructivist approach to grammar. Hornscheidt criticizes that form a constructivist point of view “[ . . . ] many problems which are discussed in the linguistic and philo- sophical literature become irrelevant as they take extra-linguistic real- ities as a starting point for evaluating if a reference is specific or not, if aims at existing or non-existing objects” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 100).
The main points of a constructivist view on language are the following: This new approach does no longer assume any kind of extra-linguistic reality and thus also abandons the idea of language as reflection of reality. Hence, the strict distinc- tion between a preliminary language system and language usage is abandoned. Hornscheidt assumes that certain types of language usages are strongly conven- tionalized and repeated so many times that they become the status of a system and appear natural. Hornscheidt particularly emphasizes the relevance of lang- uage as a medium that constitutes our reality. It is essential that meaning as well as grammatical functions are procedural. They are subject to continuous negoti- ation in very particular situations of speaking. Thus, the focus here shifts from grammar to language usage. In the first chapter of this dissertation this new view is laid out in more detail. It will be used as a framework to gain a new perspective on research in the field of feminist linguistics in the following chapters.
Chapter three provides an overview of the field of feminist linguistics with a strong focus on German feminist linguistics. A critical new perspective on the literature based on the previously laid out framework is given by re-evaluating authors like Trömel-Plötz (1997), Pusch (1997), Kalverkämper (1997) and Kal- verkämper (1997b). Important questions here are: How does feminist linguistics look today? Does it still exist? What are the problems this field of research faces and is it still a necessity? Also more recent psycholinguistic (or neurolinguistic) studies on the subject are integrated in this chapter.
In chapter four, grammar-theoretical discussions on gender are re-evaluated critically. The time-frame was chosen to represent earliest works up to the beginnings the previous century. Important research questions in this chapter will be: How did early grammarians view grammatical gender? How is the early debate on the semantic content of grammatical gender depicted and how did it influence the work of early feminist linguists.
In chapter five more recent grammar-theoretical approaches will be evaluated. These includes diachronic approaches to the discussion on grammatical gender. The critical evaluation with the above framework shows that feminist language critique is now part of different fields of study, even if grammar theorists often do not recognize the work of feminist linguistics.
An empirical study forms the second part of this thesis. Metaphors (more exactly personifications) are analyzed according to their degree of conventional- ization. The idea is that metaphors especially hint at more or less schematized language structures. The study asks if the semantic content of grammatical gen- der is transferred onto things or items and if so, if traditional gender dichotomy is reproduced and constructed in this way. It is expected that there is a tendency to personify unanimated entities, as for example institutions, by using grammatical gender as an indicator for the perceived gender of the target metaphor. Further- more, the study is intended to raise the issue if the continuous repetition of the ‘gendering’ of objects, concepts and abstracta with the help of the linguistic tool grammatical gender is contributing to the reinforcement of ‘male bias’. Chapter 6, thus presents the methodology used in this study. Combined methods from computer and corpus-linguistics were implemented in order to create useful data. The major research tool was COSMAS II, a linguistically annotated POS-tagged, corpus application with which the German reference corpus (3,6 Billion words) can be searched.
In chapter seven, the resulting database is presented. A few examples from the data contained in this database illustrate its possible uses and preliminary interpretation of this data is provided. Particularly, uses of the German suffix ‘ -in ’ with inanimate referents are shown. A comparable study was conducted by Jobin in 2004. Nomina referring to institutions were checked according to their nominal predicates and if those were using the feminine gender in accordance with the gender of the noun.
2. Theoretical framework
In this chapter a post-structural approach to language and grammar is developed, which forms the basis of this study. First, the idea of a preliminary language system is investigated. The usage of the terms grammatical gender and (biological) gender in this study is established. Then, the concept of ‘embodiment’ in thinking (and language) is explicated. Subsequently, an overview on conceptual metaphor theory and its relation to the notion of embodiment is given. Furthermore, the relation of such a constructivist viewpoint to the theory of Linguistic Relativity is discussed. In concordance with a constructivist approach, the notions of ‘conventionalization’ and ‘appellation’ are presented.
2.1. Post-structuralist approaches to language and grammar
This study incorporates a somewhat different view of grammar and, more pre- cisely, the category grammatical gender based on the substantial work Die spr- achliche Benennung von Personen aus konstruktivistischer Sicht by Lann Horn- scheidt (2006); Hornscheidt (1998), and the pragmatic approach of Sophia Mar- maridou (2000); Marmaridou (2005); Marmaridou (2005b). The most central concept in Hornscheidt’s work is that grammar, in a constructivist sense, is not a category that is strictly separable from language usage but rather a “highly conventionalized form of language usage” (Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. p. 37). Femi- nist language criticism has been divided into two branches so far: the criticism of the language system and criticism of language usage. For the German language, system-critique has centered on the so-called generic masculine or else the default gender (cf. chapter 3). The theoretical framework in this study is applied to feminist language criticism and grammar theory approaches by embodying a con- structivist perspective which no longer supports the strict differentiation between the language system and language usage in order to show that the very ideological debate pursued so far is based on this strict division or, more particular, on the idea that such a division is necessary. The main idea of a post-structural approach is that grammar and gender in particular cannot be understood without regard to language use. Grammar, in particular gender, not only entails some kind of meaning but is a grammatical tool that triggers and produces meanings.
This is one of the key assumptions of the recently developing field of cognitive linguistics, too. If this key assumption is considered appropriate, “then strategic language change appears in a new light” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 39). It can no longer be assumed that anyone is able to view the concept of grammar objectively and separated from the parole. Furthermore, all descriptions of grammar are themselves language uses and thus actively contribute to the reinforcement of certain linguistic practices. Structural linguistics, also its feminist branch, has been viewing language as mirroring reality, especially when it comes to the topic of language and gender. This, first of all, presupposes that there is such a thing as extra-linguistic reality which is disconnected from language and precedes language (and thus grammatical gender). Secondly, it also presupposes that there are precisely two genders in the world, man and woman, and nothing else. According to Hornscheidt the first point entails the idea that one systematically can change language. Hence, it is suggested by Hornscheidt to shift focus from the language system to language use and to view use as being at the core of language. It is further insisted on the relevance of language as an instrument to construct our realities. Those media which use and convey language, according to Hornscheidt, play an important role as they often have normative effects. Consequently, it is not inherently language that is discriminating but it is how speakers are used to speak. But also what we call the language system partially defines and normalizes and legitimizes how we are used to speak.
The investigation of language hence is shifted towards a pragmatic direction. Also Marmaridou aims at a “re-definition of pragmatic study” in a constructivist sense. This means that pragmatic meaning is no longer viewed as being indepen- dently existing but rather as a part of thought or, as she puts it, as ‘internalized’ (Marmaridou, 2000, p. p. 13). Marmaridou provides an overview of three ma- jor developments of pragmatics, starting with the “tradition of the philosophers of language” such as John Austin and John Searle. According to Marmaridou, later approaches then either focused on the hearer or on the speaker and devel- oped two-way models of communication. Their main interest was to find out how people could come to some sort of understanding of each other’s utterances when language itself was not unambiguous. There is a strong focus on “context” in these kind of approaches as well. More recent views are based on a different view of language. One, the so-called cognitivist framework sees language as being a prod- uct of mental activity. The other, the societal approach, “regards it as a social construct” (Marmaridou, 2000, p. p. 14). It is Marmaridou’s aim to bring these two seemingly non-compatible views together because mainstream approaches to pragmatics do “[ . . . ]not account for language as both a biological and a social phenomenon” (Marmaridou, 2000, p. p. 42).
Marmaridou (2000) similarly explains the objectivist paradigm as such that it assumes that language mirrors an external reality. In semantics this paradigm operates from the basis that expressions “get their meaning only via their ca- pacity to correspond, or failure to correspond, to the real world” (Marmaridou, 2000, p. p. 44). Words, phrases and expressions are therefore theoretically able to correctly express an item or content and they can be true or false. This objective approach does not link human cognition and existence in any way or even sees them as being related. Rather they suggest that “[e]xistence cannot depend in any way on human cognition” (Marmaridou, 2000, p. p. 44). Thus, there is a certain way in which the world actually is, independently of how people think, interpret, believe or perceive the world.
Objectivist viewpoints of word meaning need to presuppose two types of knowl- edge: definitional knowldege and encyclopedic knowledge. This means, it is pre- sumed that language users know which features constitute an entity on the one hand and on the other that the users know about features that can be optional in an entity. In this way, objectivist semantics can distinguish between what is in the language (definitional knowledge) and what is not (encyclopedic knowledge). Marmaridou criticizes this approach because it “manages to exclude social aspects from the definitional meaning of words” (Marmaridou, 2000, p. p. 45). Such as- pects are then interpreted as being beyond the power of language because they are part of the existing world. This is also the reason why abstract concepts such as emotions etc. cannot be systematized very well with this approach because it is not possible to define their properties “objectively and externally to human beings” (Marmaridou, 2000, p. p. 46) that is detached from the human body and experience.
2.2. Hen or egg? Is language structure preceding language use?
The above is also entailed in the discussion on whether or not there actually is meaning in the grammatical category gender. Hornscheidt (2006) suggests to present a new model of analyzing reference. The term reference (in accordance with the constructivist viewpoint) is called personal appellation. Studies so far were focussing on portraying the relationship between grammatical gender and (human) gender. Especially, studies of German still focus on separating genus from sexus without taking into account that the notion of sexus has fundamentally changed: i.e. replaced by Butler’s notion of gender. Gender is a constructivist view of a social category and the constructivist viewpoint doubts that linguistic structures are preceding language use. This view of language has severe conse- quences for what meaning and grammar signify and which status is attributed to grammar and grammatical gender respectively. Meaning thus is dependent on conceptualization and it is viewed as something dynamic and situational - it is not just there. A very simplified summarization of this view could be:
Meaning does not exist until you mean something. What Hornscheidt (2006) aims at with this is a to express the “perspective of action” (Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. p. 616) of language i.e. speech as an action. In terms of research she suggests a change of terminology that goes from static concepts to a more dynamic, process-oriented terminology. An example for this would be to use term ‘pejorizing’ instead of ‘pejorative’. The use of a progressive form is intended to make it easier to grasp the term as a dynamic concept.
Furthermore, some forms of language use are viewed as strongly standardized or normalized. Because they are functioning in such a way, they obtain the status of a system:
“In the model developed here it is suggested to conceptualize language fundamentally as language usage and to critically analyze assumptions of a pre-discursive, linguistic antecedence, to critically ask what is naturalized by this act and what is evading critical analysis of language use, which always looks at aspects of power and authority, for example power of interpretation” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 616).
If we assume that the category grammatical gender at least includes some se- mantic residue, then it cannot be studied by grammar theory alone. Thus, it cannot be treated as a ‘purely grammatical’ category for two reasons: first, the semantic residue needs to be taken into account when dealing with grammatical gender; secondly, if grammar itself is no longer seen as preceding language use, it follows that it is cannot be viewed as entirely separated from meaning. But if language is grounded in cognition, “then cognitive structure and conceptual- izations of social reality must characterize language use, which thus contributes to the production, maintenance or change of social meaning” (Marmaridou, 2000, p. p. 2).
According to Marmaridou (2000), thus, social meaning is directly related to structures of thinking instead of being a mental image of something that exists in an external reality. The metaphor of knowledge as being engraved in the brain, as something that determines how we act and what we say has become obsolete. Rather our gray matter is flexible and changeable and so social meaning is not something that is constant but rather processual. Both, Marmaridou and Horn- scheidt, put findings from “philosophical, cognitive and societal approaches to pragmatic meaning within an alternative theoretical framework, that of cognitive linguistics and experiential realism” (Marmaridou, 2000, p. p. 3). An important point in these approaches is that they conceive of language as being motivated by cognitive structure as well as interacting with it. Because of the direct in- teraction between brain structure and language the language users are acting as social agents and are thereby maintaining, reproducing, challenging or changing seemingly external parameters like power relations between interlocutors, insti- tutional roles and relevant social values and cultural beliefs” (Marmaridou, 2000, pp. p. 3-4).
What is interesting, and does not go very well with the described the construc- tivist view are the terms cognitive structure and brain structure do not suggest synaptic plasticity and processuality. Of course, brain plasticity has to be taken into account when regarding the interaction between language users and brain structure. This means that the interaction is not only influencing the way we speak but also our experience with language could theoretically change the way our brain is formed.
“One of the key principles of behavioral neuroscience is that experience can modify brain structure long after brain development is complete. Indeed, it is generally assumed that structural changes in the brain accompany memory storage” (p. 44 Kolb and Whishaw, 1998, pp. and references therein).
This processuality of the brain itself also goes hand in hand with the representation of ‘reality’ in the brain. Such a view could in general be described as an internalist view of language in opposition to the structuralist view, which always distinguishes between language and external reality. One key concepts in such internalist approaches is that language and meaning are ‘embodied’.
2.3. Embodiment of thinking
Clark (1998) accurately describes models that separate between an internal and external (or real) world as isolationalist views of the mind. This means that the mind functions by sending-receiving input or as he puts it: “The world is (just) a source of inputs and an arena of outputs. And the body is just an organ for receiving inputs and effecting outputs (actions)” (Clark, 1998, p. p. 2). Also most approaches to grammar and grammatical gender can be classified as isolationalist, as they distinguish between the linguistic and the extra-linguistic, between language and the real world. In such approaches the mind is viewed as an entity by itself that is independent of the body by which it is carried.
But what exactly is meant by the term embodiment in internalist approaches? In cognitive science, as Ziemke (2001) puts it: “Embodiment is nowadays by many researchers considered a conditio sine qua non for any form of natural or artificial intelligence” (Ziemke, 2001, p. p. 1). According to Wilson (2002), what has become known today as embodied cognition has its starting point in earlier theories that assumed that there is no thinking without vision. Embodied cognition assumes “that the mind must be understood in the context of its relationship to a physical body that interacts with the world” (Wilson, 2002, p.p. 625).
Wilson (2002, pp. pp. 626-634) discusses six prominent views on embodiment and the mind, which are briefly summarized in the following paragraph:
1. Cognition is situated
2. Cognition is time pressured
3. We off-load cognitive work onto the environment
4. The environment is part of the cognitive system
5. Cognition is for action
6. Off-line cognition is body based.
The first view on embodiment states that cognition is situated which means that thinking is related to tasks. As Wilson puts it this claim does not entail abstract cognitive activities like future planning and thus can be evaluated as describing a very basic process or “our fundamental cognitive architecture” (Wilson, 2002, p. p. 626). Point two means that there are sometimes situations in which the cognizer needs to react quickly to a situation. That this time pressure is the im- portant factor in human cognition is denied by Wilson, as according to her, time pressure is not always included in human action. The third type of theory pre- sumes that we try to use less memory in situations i.e. to safe memory power and to be as resourceful as we can. This saves energy, for example, when we turn our- selves in a direction while explaining the way to someone. Fourth, cognition is not only involving the mind but also includes the body and environment—situation and cognizer are one system. The fifth approach views cognition, especially the function of memory, as having developed for moving through a three-dimensional space. Memory thus developed for action. Wilson though criticizes this view for assuming a too direct link to action. It is rather believed that “cognition often subserves action via a more indirect, flexible, and sophisticated strategy, in which information about the nature of the external world is stored for future use without strong commitments on what the future use might be”(Wilson, 2002, p. pp. 633). The basic idea of the last approach to embodiment of cognition is that: “Sensimotor simulations of external situations are in fact widely implicated in human cognition” (Wilson, 2002, p. pp. 633). Wilson here lists as example mental imagery: “Imagery involves analogue representations that functionally preserve spatial and other properties of the external world, rather than consisting of bundles of propositions” (Wilson, 2002, p. pp. 633).
In linguistics, the term embodiment was introduced by the field of cognitive lin- guistics, a relative young branch of the discipline. The most important definition of embodiment for linguistics probably comes from Lakoff and Johnson (1999), who claim that thinking is not happening outside the body and that the body is also more than just a vessel carrying the mind. Thinking is rather some kind of bodily function and cannot happen without linkage to our “brains, bodies, and bodily experience” (Lakoff and Johnson 1999, p.p. 4; cf. Goschler 2005). They further state that: “The same neural and cognitive mechanisms that allow us to perceive and move around also create our conceptual systems and modes of rea- son” (Lakoff and Johnson, 1999, p. p. 4). The notion that our thinking is embodied hence implies that it is in some way associated with our sensory-motor system. It is argued that the sensory-motor system “not only provides structure to concep- tual content, but also characterizes the semantic content of concepts” (Lakoff and Johnson, 1999, p. p. 4). It is further assumed that imagining and doing something use a shared “neural substrate”, which basically means that the brain does not distinguish between just thinking about doing something and actually doing it.
For example, if someone suffers from Agoraphobia, the fear of spiders, simply imagining a spider can lead to symptoms of fear like rapid pulse, increasing per- spiration and so on. The brain thus cannot distinguish between a thing being there and seeing it or just imagining it. Gallese and Lakoff (2005) argue that understanding something, understanding language, is done by the same ‘matter’ in the brain that is activated when we act. Gallese and Lakoff explain this with the following example:
“Harry picked up the glass.” (Gallese and Lakoff, 2005, p. p. 456) In order to understand a sentence like this, we need to be able to imagine picking up a glass or even more so, we need to be able to imagine someone, who is picking up a glass. Gallese and Lakoff call their theory an interactionist theory of meaning. They assume that everything we know is embodied, which means that we process our experiences according to how “our constant encounter and interaction with the world via our bodies and brains” is structured (Gallese and Lakoff, 2005, p. p. 456).
What does this concept of embodiment thus mean for the study of the rela- tionship between grammatical gender and gender? If we first of all assume that “imagination is mental simulation” (Gallese and Lakoff, 2005, p. p. 458), what we say simulates how we perceive the world. If we use grammatical patterns like the generic masculine thus, this results in two problems: first of all, we cannot simu- late a gender neutral person. If we think about people it is a social imperative to divide them into females and males. How would anyone imagine a ‘neutral Swiss person’ to look like? Secondly, as the masculine form coincides with the generic form and is thus much more often used than the feminine form, this leads to an over representation of the category ‘men’ in our thinking. For the study of gram- matical gender this means that what is often downplayed as semantic residue in grammar cannot be ignored. Most studies do not actually deny that there is some (often vague) connection between grammatical gender and gender. Often though this connection is viewed as minor and thus ignored in studies on grammatical gender. But more recent studies from cognitive linguistics focus on exactly how this connection functions and see it as central to the study of grammatical gender. Also grammar is viewed as being embodied and from that it follows that it must carry meanings that relate to our bodily experience. As Wilson (2002) puts it:
“[ . . . ] the field of cognitive linguistics is reexamining linguistic processing in terms of broader principles of cognitive and sensorimotor processing. This approach, in radical contrast to the formal and abstract syntactic structures of traditional theories, posits that syntax is deeply tied to semantics” (Wilson, 2002, p. p. 634).
. In this view the embodied knowledge of the physical world forms the connection between syntax and semantics. From this follows, if language is embodied it is also engendered because it is a primary imperative in our daily lives to distinguish between men and women.
According to Christiansen and Chater (2008) the starting point is that “language must inevitably be shaped around human learning and processing biases deriving from the structure of our thought processes, perceptuomotor factors, cognitive limitations, and pragmatic constraints” (Christiansen and Chater, 2008, p. p. 490).
This means that language has formed along the lines of language usage and not that language usage is just some sort of side-product of language structure. Christiansen and Chater (2008)’s approach is a language evolutionist approach that sees languages as having a symbiotic relationship with humans. If language and thinking respectively lie in the human body, the question is, how this functions and how our bodily experiences are organized?
2.3.1. Metaphors as embodied thinking
One possible answer to this question may be provided by conceptual metaphor theory, also first introduced by Lakoff and Johnson (2003). Lakoff and Johnson have claimed that our brain organizes such experiences in conceptual metaphors and idealized cognitive models. Metaphors in conceptual metaphor theory are seen as major constituents of both natural language and thought. It is assumed that metaphors indicate underlying thought patterns (Deignan, 2005, p. p. 4). Deignan lists as the most important tenets of conceptual metaphor theory the following:
- Metaphors structure thinking
- Metaphors structure knowledge
- Metaphor is central to abstract language
- Metaphor is grounded in physical experience
- Metaphor is ideological (Deignan, 2005, p. p. 13)
The first point acknowledges that many abstract topics are often solely imple- mented in language in the form of metaphoric expressions. Lakoff and Johnson (2003) argue that knowledge is linked to language by what they call conceptual metaphors. Conceptual metaphors are defined as semantic areas or categories which help organizing our knowledge of the world. Conceptual metaphors gener- ally have to be differentiated from linguistic metaphors as they usually are not expressed but lie behind or ”below” language. They structure thinking or ideas in people’s minds or as Deignan puts it: “Conceptual metaphors function at the level of thought, below language, and they are rarely, if ever, used in speaking or writing” (Deignan, 2005, p. p. 14). These conceptual metaphors are then realized through language in the form of linguistic metaphors. In this sense the conceptual metaphor approach could be classified as a rationalistic approach as it assumes underlying ideas and concepts that humans derive from their experience of the world. At the same time metaphors are also used to structure new knowledge. Deignan exemplifies this aspect by relating it to our knowledge of a relatively new semantic domain: the internet. The knowledge-domain of ‘web’ (network of fine threads) or ‘net’ was transferred onto knowledge about computer sciences in order to make it accessible for computer laypersons.
It is important to note that the most essential of these conceptual metaphors are “grounded in our physical experience” (Deignan, 2005, p. p. 19). One could therefore maybe speak of the embodiment of language, because even different languages which are not related in their structure often share the same conceptual metaphors:
“Where two groups of people do not share language or culture but have the same metaphors, the roots of the metaphorical connections probably lie in perhaps the only experience they have in common: inhabiting a human body” (Deignan, 2005, p. p. 19).
If in fact most metaphors are grounded in bodily sensations, then it is most likely that the concept of gender is also mirrored in conceptual metaphors. Thus, below actual metaphoric expressions lie conceptual metaphors that structure our thinking, also structuring our gendered thinking. An example for this would be the following:
Alder & Eisenhut ist nach eigenen Angaben erstes zertifiziertes Un- ternehmen und Marktführerin der Branche. (A97/DEZ.39144 ) ‘Alder & Eisenhut is, according their own data, the first certified enterpriseNEUT and brand leader-FEM of the industry.’
As we see in this example there is not really any grammatical reason why the word Marktf ü hrerin should be in the feminine form, as it refers to a neuter word.
Behind this maybe lies an appellation to the status of the named company as a joint-stock cooperation, in German die AG, a feminine word which the noun implicitly could refer to. Still, even if agentive nouns do not necessarily need to agree in grammatical gender, a sentence like
Alder & Eisenhut ist nach eigenen Angaben erstes zertifiziertes Unternehmen und Marktführer der Branche.
‘Alder & Eisenhut is, according their own data, the first certified enterpriseNEUT and brand leader-MASC of the industry.’
would equally be grammatically correct, even preferable. From a point of view of conceptual metaphor theory one could say that it is very common to cognitively structure abstract entities such as corporate enterprises as human. The source domain, from which the metaphor is taken, is the domain ‘people’. The target domain onto which the metaphor is mapped is the domain ‘enterprises’, which is very common. This conceptual metaphor that we perceive of enterprises as people even has found entrance into laws, as we conceive of the status of such enterprises as juristic person or artificial person. Thus, the cognitive theory of metaphor does not actually investigate in how metaphors appear in language but tries to find structures that exist ‘below’ linguistic expression, hence structures that are pre-linguistic. According to Lakoff and Johnson (2003) such conceptual metaphors are structured by so-called idealized cognitive models.
2.3.2. Idealized cognitive models
Idealized cognitive models (hereafter referred to as ICM) are categorizations that are represented in the mind or frames of thinking that we have. They correspond roughly with prototypes but they also are cognitive or pre-linguistic. This means that only a comparison of a cognitive model with a concrete situation enables a decision on which words to choose when trying to express a concept. Lakoff and Johnson (2003) refer to the very popular example of the word Bachelor (cf. Wildgen 2008, p. p. 71).
A ‘Bachelor’ is a man, who has never been married. Still, one could not call the pope a ‘bachelor’ as the concept entails more than this one property. Often, thus, more than one ICM is at work at the same time, which have to be balanced. Here the example of the concept ‘mother’ consists of (at least) four categories:
- birth model: someone who gives birth
- genetic model: next female relative
- nurturing model: person, who raised you and brought you up
- marriage model: your mother is your father’s wife
All these categories form a picture of the concept ‘mother’ we have in mind. Not all of these categories have to apply constantly or with every mother. But in the ‘ideal’ case, hence idealized models, all four are accurate. The important point is that we as speakers usually are aware of all four of these categories.
ICMs are also very closely related to prototypes. Prototypes are the most typical representative of a concept - so in the above case the prototypical mother would integrate all four of these categories. Lakoff and Johnson (2003) thus do not define language as being an instrument of mirroring or picturing some external reality but rather as language being structured in so-called mappings. This means that metaphors simply function in a way that one ‘maps’ one concept on another or that one explains one thing by using another thing, as figure 2.1 demonstrates.
Figure 2.1.: Metaphorical mapping
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Wildgen lists the following further functions of conceptual metaphors:
- highlighting and hiding
- orientational metaphors
- ontological metaphors
For the study of gender the functions personification and metonymy are the most important functions. For example, if we ask the question to what extend we need to personify abstract entities to be able to speak about them? If we personify things, if we have a tendency to anthropomorphize things, does that mean we automatically ‘gender’ them? ICMs usually are not reflected and for the most part never questioned within a society. As Hornscheidt (2006) puts it, they are ‘conglomerates’ of complex cognitive patters, “which are dynamic and are changing in connection with social developments” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 97). According to Hornscheidt (2006) ICMs also are better suited than semantics to explain attributions of meanings as they show asymmetries.
As in the example above, if the word ‘father’ is compared to ‘mother’ in seman- tics, only gender distinguishes them; but the ICMs of both would definitely not be very much alike. Hornscheidt (2006) also criticizes Lakoff and Johnson (2003)’s model for considering the category gender as underlying or for not questioning this category. As in the example above, Lakoff and Johnson (2003) seem to take gender for granted and is not questioned. That the ICMs also construct gender is not touched by Lakoff and Johnson (2003). Further criticism on Lakoff and Johnson is that their model is a one-way street, i.e. the brain (and our bodily experience) influences our language but not the other way around.
The idea that there is an interdependency between speaking and thinking though has been taken up again more recently in cognitive linguistics as well. Marmaridou (2000), for example, assumes that on the one hand “conceptual structure determines language structure” but on the other the usage of language within a special frame creates “culturally relevant patterns of thought” (Marmaridou, 2000, p. p. 5). Thus, meaning is discursive and is only produced in contexts, in accordance with (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 90).
In summary, cognitive linguistics no longer assumes that language simply entails meaning but rather that it also triggers meaning. Meaning is not some external reality that exists independently of speaking. Hence, there is an interdependency between speaking and thinking. With this point one has ask in which direction this interdependency goes. Is language influencing thinking or is it the other way around? Approaches which assume some influence of thinking on speaking are often subsumed under the label linguistic relativity.
2.3.3. Linguistic relativity
The principle of linguistic relativity was formulated by Benjamin Lee Whorf and was, for a short period, followed with interest. After 1965 the topic was dropped by linguistics, especially formal linguistics showed no more interest in it. Only recently this principle has gained new interest (cf. Werlen 2002, Marmaridou 2000). Feminist linguistics especially were often associated with this principle and thus also were disregarded as ‘Whorfian’ and in some way deterministic. A very useful definition of how the principle linguistic relativity is viewed today is provided by Werlen (2002):
Linguistic Relativity “[ . . . ] says, that the language(s), which an indi- vidual acquired or has learned in a language community, influence the manner how the world is interpreted by this individual; this influence however can be diminished through reflection ” (Werlen, 2002, p. p. 28).
Werlen (2002) and others (esp. Hornscheidt 2003, Levinson 2003) particularly criticize the generative understanding of language as it favors the system over the parole. This, according to Werlen (2002), is problematic empirically as languages are only accessible through the parole. “The linguist”, so Werlen, “is in a simi- lar situation as language learning children are: they also acquire language only through utterances from others” (Werlen, 2002, p. p. 13). Hornscheidt (2003) goes even further in her critique of generative approaches that are especially promi- nent in the U.S.A. and Western Europe. For her it is problematic that the focus of research was for too long on language competence, and in an extreme: “the linguistic realization (of competence) is rather an incident than the normal case, a potential source of mistakes” (Hornscheidt, 2003, pp.p. 64-65).
Also Levinson (2003) stresses the point that the actual speaking is, by some advocates of generative approaches, felt as noise produced by the biological ba- sis. According to Levinson (2003) there is an “ideological overtone” in such ap- proaches, as “the independence of thought from language opens up to us the freedom of will and action [ . . . ]” (Levinson, 2003, p. p. 33). This means that ‘Whorfianism’ and ‘linguistic determinism’ cannot be possible. Levinson (2003) concludes that Whorf’s ideas are often misconceived as too deterministic and even ‘anti-American’.
Levinson (2003) cites numerous recent studies, which have brought forward evidence for a relation between language and thought. Some studies on color coding, for example, have shown that not all people distinguish the same colors. If a language like English, for example, differentiates between ‘blue’ and ‘green’ and another language, in one case Tarahumara, does not, then the English speakers will “exaggerate the perceptual differences on the boundary” (Levinson, 2003, pp. p. 38). For speakers of English, thus, one could casually say that ‘blue’ appears somehow blue-er. Because they have words for ‘green’ and ‘blue’ the difference of the two colors appears greater or more significant to them than it is for speakers of Tarahumara.
Similar studies tested spatial directions in different languages. Levinson (2003) speaks of languages “without words for ‘left’ or ‘right’ directions, but where the spatial directions must be specified in terms of cardinal directions like ‘east’ (so one has to say things like ‘Pass the northern cup’, ‘There’s a fly on your northern leg’, etc.) (Levinson, 2003, pp. p. 32). Speakers of such languages were found to be much more accurate in their senses of direction compared to speakers with egocentric (or viewpoint) spatial systems. Levinson (2003) rates this as “[ . . . ] con- vincing evidence that linguistic coding is both a facilitator of a specific cognitive style and a bottleneck, constraining mental representations in line with the output modality” (Levinson, 2003, p. p. 40). Thus, as Werlen (2002) puts it:
“The principle of linguistic relativity not only asks if there is thinking without language but rather that ‘ every single language ’ (co)determines the picture of the world a speaker has. This results in different lan- guages having different pictures of the world (Werlen, 2002, pp. p. 25- 26).
Grammatical gender, in the discussion about linguistic relativity, was discussed quite frequently. The argument of feminist linguistics that women are not visible in language because of the generic masculine form and that for this reason they are simply forgotten is, according to Werlen (2002), a classical language relative argument: “language influences the perception of reality” (Werlen, 2002, pp. p. 61). From this point of view it comes evident that traditional linguists, especially formalist and generative linguistics, tend to negate the ideas of feminist linguis- tics. Furthermore, like with Whorf’s ideas, classical linguists do not get tired of defaming them (Werlen, 2002, pp. p. 61-62). Also Rothmund and Scheele (2004) agree with Werlen in that a language psychological view of the situation of dis- crimination through the generic masculine necessarily returns to the principle of linguistic relativity (Rothmund and Scheele, 2004, p. p. 41). Transferred onto the study of gender this suggests that if a language is able to signal gender through a grammatical gender system, like in German personal appellation, then speakers will also make this distinction and find it central for their communication.
To summarize, in opposition to the cognitive linguistic view developed by Lakoff and Johnson (2003), cognitive linguistics today no longer speak of a onesided influence of the body on language (thinking). Rather, language influences how we think AND our body influences how we speak—the influence is reciprocal in its nature. This approach is criticized by Hornscheidt (2006) for not going far enough in that it still assumes ‘underlying’ structures. For her the processual nature of language and thinking are not represented well in this approach. She suggests that it may be better explained by a constructivist approach.
2.4. Language and grammar from a constructivist point of view
In post-structural theory language is defined in the framework of a constructivist understanding in the following way. Language is “[ . . . ] a means of producing an inter-communicatively accepted and mutually supposed reality in a social and communicative process. Language is thus understood as means of actively creating a distinctive imagination and view of reality through the usage of language [ . . . ] and so corresponds to a specific, linguistic-pragmatic understanding [ . . . ]” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 21).
What does this mean in difference to linguistic relativity? First of all, the defini- tion of reality is no longer an external one but rather internally formed - there is no extra-linguistic world. The world as humans see it is constructed discursively. In her theoretical outline Hornscheidt (2006) refers to the philosophical discussion on constructivism, among others also to Ernst Glasersfeld and Pierre Bourdieu. According to Hornscheidt (2006), Glasersfeld explains that constructivism does not want to deny ‘reality’, as it is often accused of. It does not say that the tree one sees outside of one’s window is not there. It rather states that reality is not discernible i.e. that we have no way of knowing how this tree really is consti- tuted and the only thing we can do is to approach it with our human senses. Therefore, the strict separation between the denoting and the denoted object is abandoned.
This philosophical view has a strong effect on basic principles in linguistics, be- cause it asks why linguistics separates what we know about language from what we know about the world. Post-structural theory sees the context as the crucial moment at which we negotiate meaning. Thus, what a word or even a sentence means is constructed through and with language while we use it.. By question- ing the supremacy the langue one can also question ‘natural’ categories such as Gender. Furthermore, also the ‘communicative pre-occurrence of the langue ’ has to be questioned as it is continually reproduced by structuralist linguistic studies. This means, the idea of a language system that exists ‘before’ communication is questioned. This approach is thus also a language relative approach in that it says that “language forces speakers into distinct patterns, categories” which are at the same time perceived as reality.
But instead of asking how structures of language influence how we speak, the question is rather what are the consequences of this, or “which social groups state their own view on reality as a generally bind- ing norm through linguistic practices of naming and defining amongst other things and how this process works” (Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. p. 23- 26)
. In the field of linguistics however these consequences have not been highly regarded so far.
So far, it was assumee that there is a difference between the language system and language usage. This fact is criticized by post-modern theory and especially by constructivist theories. Hornscheidt (2006) deplores that linguistics so far has “broadly ignored the interaction of linguistic and extra-linguistic” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 20). Thus, linguistics has so far completely disregarded its own highly normative character. Language is in this new viewpoint no longer seen as inher- ently carrying meaning as well as it is not separated from an independent system of grammar. Rather, meaning in language is constructed through usage, more precisely through repeated use and reinforcing use. As Hornscheidt (2006) puts it: “language forces its users into specific patterns or categories which are at the same time felt as being natural” (Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. p. 25). Through the rep- etition of a specific use such patterns are reinforced. If then, the idea of a language system which exists independently is reinforced, this too seems to be a natural phenomenon. Hornscheidt (2006) raises the question if it is possible that no such system exists and that language is really exclusively consists of “conventionalized and authorized language usage” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 36). Hornscheidt (2006)’s radical framework consequently does no longer take up the strong Saussurean separation between the identifier and the identified, because it no longer assumes that the knowledge of language is different to the knowledge of the world. In that sense what we know about the language we acquire is, like what we know of the world, a result of experiences we make. Meaning is something a group of speakers appoints to a word and it does not lie in the word itself. In this view a word, a phrase or even a language does not exist independently of its user and thus is not bound to any strict system. The system as well as the meaning we give to it is created through using the language. In the same way looking upon the language and describing it (i.e. doing linguistics) is also a form of using it (Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. p. 20-24).
Hornscheidt suggests that based on this perception also the category gender can appear in a new light. In this context, it is thus important to ask which social group(s) declare their view on the world and on what we in our every day language call reality and regard as the reality, and how they do this and what kind of appellation and standardization practices they use (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 25). The focus here is on linguistic practice(s) and in this context Hornscheidt (2006) again refers to Bourdieu (1990) and his Theory of Practice (pp. 27 Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. and references therein)..
Bourdieu (2008) develops a process related way of viewing different social struc- tures which is not contingent on drawing borderlines between polar opposites or dichotomies (Watts, 2007, p. p. 147). The main focus in his theory is on the processual nature of structures which we also find mirrored in recent theories on grammaticalization (cf. section 2.5.3 on p. 34). Watts (2007) defines practice as being “observable in instances of ongoing social interaction amongst individuals, which most often involves language [ . . . ]” (Watts, 2007, p. p. 148). In this sense any kind of language usage could also be termed as a form of social practice. This theory sets language as a means to continually construct the world. Hornscheidt (2006) here raises the question if not the notion of a language system only came into being through its continual repetition that made it appear natural. In other words, was grammar not created by repeatedly describing grammar? Hornscheidt (2006) introduces two terms to grasp the level of the language system in an alter- native way. It is viewed as a combination of convention and authorization of a very distinct language use (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 37). This would then explain language change simply as preferring another (new) convention over the old one.
Language standards and norms as they are found in grammars are thus “the man- ifestation of a dominant language usage, which as authorizing source nurtures the idea of their own pre-existence to language usage” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 37).
2.5. The prestige of structure or a structure of prestige?
In her discussion of feminist linguistics Hornscheidt (2006) observes such autho- rizing processes and concludes that one question becomes apparent, namely:
“how ‘language’ is accessed in the field of linguistics and how other ways of theorizing about language were rejected and excluded from ‘real’ linguistics” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 12).
In linguistics the most prestigious way of looking at language is looking at its structure. Other ways of dealing with language are often labelled as not being ‘the real thing’ or have become known, in the German scientific community, as so-called Bindestrich-Linguistiken. More recent approaches, however, especially from the cognitive and pragmatic perspectives, reclaimed space within linguistics and thus Hornscheidt (2006) maintains that in post-structural approaches today “the way how we arrive at knowledge is more important than trying to explicate some assumed ‘reality’ as an object of research”(Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 14).
If linguistics has language as an object of research this cannot only entail parts of language and there cannot be a hierarchy regarding which parts of language are more scientific and more real. This idea also should be valid for the field of feminist linguistics. Hornscheidt (2006) sees the most important aim of feminist linguistics at the time of structuralism to be the “description of general linguistic structures, which are valid through space and time” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 15) and in which the langue (language structure) is fronting the parole (the concrete and individual realization of langue). Furthermore, the langue is traditionally treated as the more important thing whereas the parole was treated as a minor point. In concordance with Hornscheidt (2006), this study takes a different road in that it focuses on parole as being the major trigger of language change as well as it being a determiner of how the langue develops. Thus, structuralist linguistics only was interested in ‘the relation between significate and significant and did not take into account the bezeichnete Referenzobjekt (the reference object that is meant). Recent theory asks rather how relationships and links of signs are and how meaning arises from these relationships and links. The ‘holy cow’ arbitrariness of the sign (cf. chapter 3.2, on p. 49) is thus also questioned to a certain degree. Furthermore, according to Hornscheidt (2006), post-structural theory doubts one of the key assumptions of structuralism, the idea that “a model is descriptive” and thus all kinds of prescriptive approaches are to be rejected per se. Post-structural theory does not go along with the earlier, purely prescriptive approaches of the 19 th century but rather goes in the other direction in that it assumes that a purely descriptive view on language is not possible (Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. p. 14- 16). Hornscheidt criticizes that in linguistics the interdependence of language and extra-linguistic factors has been largely ignored because linguistics often defines itself as “independent of political questions such as authority, power and ideology” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 20).
In summary, the constructivist approach of Hornscheidt is also to be classified as a science critical or science historical approach to the field of linguistics. Es- pecially the field of feminist linguistics was and is criticized for being ideological as opposed to theoretical. With her critique Hornscheidt demonstrates that also within structuralist and generative linguistics ideological biases exist and that more recent approaches, especially in feminist linguistics, have their validity ex- actly because they look at language use. In the following section, some basic concepts developed by Hornscheidt (2006) are introduced, as they are understood and used in this study.
2.5.1. Conventionalization and conventionalized meaning
Conventionalization is the basis for the power of linguistic speech acts: “Specific grammatical patterns and structures are held up through social practice, which at the same time also justifies the social practices themselves” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 75). So for a convention to remain a convention it needs to be continually repeated and it also has to be repaired continually. The convention could be viewed as in competition with other conventions and thus it has to be restated again and again to strengthen it—otherwise it might be replaced. This effect is visible in the following example: In German the word die Studierenden is used instead of the generic die Studenten. It is a form of grammatical abstraction by using a nominalized participle in its plural form. But the abstraction from gram- matical gender only works in the plural form. There is, however, a tendency to use the participle in the singular and with a masculine article i.e. in analogy to other generic forms. So, the convention of using the generic masculine is repaired. Hornscheidt (2006) views conventions as a historic processes in which social norms are sedimented. For Hornscheidt “conventions are manifestations and effects of power relations, which are at the same time constructed and reproduced by such conventions” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 75). Thus, in a constructivist framework we speak of conventionalization as this better indicates the processual charac- ter of this phenomenon. Conventionalization is defined as “setting a standardized language use as norm at a certain point of time in a certain society” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 75). By setting such a norm it is further implied that a certain kind of language usage is valid over time, that it also is unchangeable and that it mirrors something underlying. Thus, Hornscheidt (2006) replaces Coseriu’s notion of norm with conventionalization. The dispute on grammatical gender in linguis- tics is thus also a form of conventionalizing and authorizing a certain language norm. Linguistic theories on the generic masculine, for example, that assume its neutrality are reflected in grammars and language textbooks. In this way the convention is continued and also the linguistic discourse on gender so has a nor- malizing effect. Grammar theories are thus not, as many claim, more objective and exclusively descriptive. Rather, grammar theories also promote and pass on standardized language usage (i.e. conventionalized language) and so function equally normative.
The concept conventionalized meaning is introduced to replace the idea that meaning actually resides within a word and is static. Hornscheidt (2006) here follows Marmaridou (2000) and explains conventionalized meaning as emerging when contextual meaning is continually repeated and thus becomes schematized. Such conventionalized meanings then no longer bear contextual meaning, but rather sanction contextual meaning via processes of schematizing. This means that similar meanings are so often generated in the same context that we as language users believe the meaning is not developed in the context but resides within the word itself. We are used to think that words mean something by themselves and tend to forget that we as language users actually have a say in what words mean. Therefore, we as language users do no longer conceive of language as being something creative but rather see it as expressing thoughts passively. This is what Hornscheidt (2006) calls conventionalized meanings:
“They are linguistic elements that in the process of conventionalizing of a certain language usage are perceived decontextualized by the language users and then are considered as semantically specified” (Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. p. 43-).
Constructivist approaches thus view grammar also as a form of language usage, which has become strongly conventionalized: “The standardization of language norms as it can be found in dictionaries and grammar books is viewed as a man- ifestation of a dominant understanding of language usage” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 36). These are at the same time the authorizing sources that evoke the idea of being more important than actual and concrete language usage. By focusing on the context in analysis a different view on meaning develops. Rather than regarding meaning as an aspect of a linguistic sign it is perceived to be evolving in interaction. Hornscheidt (2006) criticizes that most pragmatic approaches keep assuming an underlying, relatively static language system, even if it does not play a major role in their analyses. In this context the question is raised if assuming a language system is not rather an analytical item rather than a language inherent one. Furthermore, did not the continuous repetition of the idea of a language sys- tem naturalize different aspects of language usage as system? According to Horn- scheidt (2006) a complementary pragmatic approach contributes a further level of meaning to the structuralist and generativist approaches by building on the as- pect of grammaticalization of different phenomena. Hornscheidt (2006) takes up a perspective view of pragmatics in which the borderlines between pragmatics and semantics are given up: “All meaning is viewed as pragmatic in this perspectivist variant and it is only possible to analyze meaning on this level.” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 35). Furthermore, this view doubts that there is an inherent or core meaning to words, which can clearly be extracted from them Language is not seen as a ”means of mirroring extra-linguistic reality but as a means of creating reality”. The level of the language system is thus defined in a different way. It is moreover a convention and actively conventionalizing and authorizing of a certain kind of language usage. This means, the approach of Hornscheidt gives up the idea of a system that exists before language usage altogether (cf. Hornscheidt 2006, pp. p. 28-37).
One criticism in Hornscheidt’s approach is that research exclusively interested in the language system actively naturalizes the perception of grammar as an instance that determines language. In this way research avoids analyzing actual language usage. With the so-called linguistic turn discourse analytical approaches appeared that in contrast stress the analysis of language usage. But even in these, often a separation between language and an extra-linguistic reality is implicit. Regarding gender it is important to ask if one can distinguish between formal and semantic criteria of gender assignment at all, because even recent cognitive approaches and also feminist linguistics “remain in a structuralist paradigm , which is reproduced again in those approaches” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 617). It is suggested to rather view gender assignment along pragmatic criteria which means that language is fundamentally viewed as language use. All efforts of stating the pre-discursive should be analysed critically by asking which phenomenon such approaches naturalize.
In summary, Hornscheidt, as well as other constructivists, define language as “reality constructing medium” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 28). Within linguistics the relationship of language and thinking was associated with linguistic relativ- ity exclusively for a long time. This had the effect that this topic was ignored for quite some time in linguistics, as the topic had become unappealing for lin- guists. More recently language has detached from the field of linguistics and became interesting for other fields of research as well. Thus, a new understanding of language has found its way into the humanities. Its center of interest is lang- uage usage. Another important level is the relationship of language usage to the language users. Even the relatively young field of research cognitive lingusitics often has a structuralist character. According to Hornscheidt (2006, pp. p. 45-46) many cognitive approaches focus on the aspect of mental representation. But also here the basic assumption is that language expresses or influences mental repre- sentation in some way or the other. A post-structural understanding of gender according to Hornscheidt (2006) must rely on Judith Butler’s notion of gender. Butler goes even further by saying that even the body is cultural [cf. Butler (2004). The construction of the body without question is also emphasized: the notion of gender in Butler’s sense is comparable to the artificial dichotomy of nature and culture. There is no approach, no way of understanding nature: “The subjects, who are called ‘women’ are created solely through discourse by their ap- pellation” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 47). The problem with constructivism in this sense is that it leads into a certain extend of determinism. By that the ability to act, which women only just have reached as subjects, was questioned again. For Hornscheidt (2006) the so-called de-construction of the category woman does not negate the category but allows us to focus at the category as such. The notion of linguistic action is crucial in constituting the category i.e. in personal appellation the category woman is often constituted by using grammatical gender. This construction is an ongoing process, language is viewed as a performative act that evokes what it denominates (p. 46-49 Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. and references therein). Thus, grammatical gender can be pragmatically used to construct the category gender in language and this is done frequently.
2.5.2. Reference vs. appellation
For the study of gender in language, Hornscheidt (2006) also rejects the term reference as it too conventionalizes the idea that language and reality are sepa- rable. Hornscheidt (2006) sees a central problem here, especially in linguistics, in which “[ . . . ] the relationship between language, world and reality is reduced to a mirroring function of language” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 55). In much the same way the term personal reference implies a distinction of reference and per- son and this means that referring to someone is temporally subordinated to the actual person. Hornscheidt (2006) constitutes reference rather as a communal communicative performance of interactants—it is possible that trying to achieve reference does not work. There is a reciprocity of communicative events (Horn- scheidt, 2006, pp. p. 55-58). In the case of grammatical gender this means that understanding a reference as gender specific or not does not only depend on lang- uage systematic categories i.e. grammatical gender but also on conventionalized usage interpretations (Eckert and McConnell-Ginet, 2007, p. p 61).
Hornscheidt (2006) speaks of reference in a pragmatic way as acts of denomination. How we refer to people is also a something we are used to do, a practice we have internalized, while we are unaware of the categorizations of humans we also promote with this:
“Acts of denomination are based on the continual repetition of a con- ventionalized language code, in the case of personal references on the continual repetition of different forms of the categorization of humans, which is naturalized by this continual repetition and is thus interpreted as objective in the understanding of the speakers” (Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. p. 62-63)
This repetition, however, is not a simple replication of one and the same thing but it is always interpretation as well as transfer and modification. If we use a masculine form to refer to people in general, for example, we actively categorize humans in this way and not in another. It is what we are used to do that dictates us to do it, not that grammar does not offer other possibilities. Hence, “[f]or a study on personal appellation this means the necessity to analyze, besides the concrete realizations of appellation, the possibilities and borders of what is considered as ‘sayable’ within a linguistic community. This means, who or what we can appeal to on which basis in order to find possibly conceptualizations or ones that are excluded” (Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. p. 62-64).
Hornscheidt (2006) introduces the term appellation as opposed to the traditional term reference and argues that to refer to someone actually constitutes an act of naming: “The subject is only and always newly created through the act of naming” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 66). According to Hornscheidt linguistic appellation is the “central instrument of constructing a social reality and it constitutes the world” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 67).
Personal appellation and gender Hornscheidt (2006) defines personal appellation the following way:
“All personal linguistic appellations share that they linguistically denominate one or more humans, who are categorized in a certain way by this appellation” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 77)
Personal appellation can be viewed as a continuum at the very end of which proper names are found and at the very beginning collective nouns. All Germanic languages especially categorize appellation according to gender, which has partly led to a grammaticalization of this categorization. Linguistically, gender differentiations appear in combination with many other possible features but not all features are equally relevant in all linguistic communities and thus they are not conventionally found in personal appellation in all linguistic communities. The main point in this observation is that grammatical gender can neither be seen as something that existed before there was a relation to gender or it can be said that there is a clear relation of grammatical gender to gender. This further entails the basic assumption that “every linguistic form can be used in a pejorizing and/or discriminating form” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 80). In contrast to feminist linguistic theories Hornscheidt does not assume that linguistic gender is inherently discriminating but rather that it opens the pragmatic possibility to be used in such a way (cf. Hornscheidt 2006, pp. p. 77-83).
How can grammaticalization theory be of use for the analysis of gender specifications? According to Hornscheidt this is only possible in connection to a constructivist view of language according to which “grammaticalization is a consolidation of a certain language usage, which attains the status of a preexisting linguistic truth which cannot be challenged” (Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. p. 111-112). In this process the relative pre-existence of a rule set is constructed. It is relative because it always is retro-actively established by abstracting from a certain language usage. In our every day understanding of language, supported by grammar textbooks, this achieves the status of a system. Following Meillet, grammaticalization is perceived as “attribution of a grammatical character onto an autonomous word” (p. 112 Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. and references therein).
Hence, grammaticalization theory is especially suited for this approach as it is on the one hand “concerned with regularities in language use as they can be observed in spoken and written linguistic discourse” and on the other it does not “require assumptions to the effect that ‘language’—however this notion may be defined— is or should be conceived of as a system (Heine and Kuteva, 2007, p. p. 33). Grammaticalization offers the possibility to connect diachronic and synchronic perspectives on language. A very clear definition of grammaticalization is from Heine and Kuteva:
“Grammaticalization is defined as the development from lexical to grammatical forms, and from grammatical to even more grammatical forms” (Heine and Kuteva, 2007, p. p. 32).
Grammar is thus a construct of social agreement. One of the major starting points for a grammaticalization process is, according to Lehmann (1995), that speakers have the feeling that their linguistic means are insufficient and inadequate. Gram- maticalization is a diachronic phenomenon because language change is a historic process, but the basic interest is synchronic and focuses on actuality (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 115). Within cognitively oriented research into grammaticalization it is further assumed that there are source concepts. These basic concepts, similarly to ICMs, refer back to the physical basis of human cognition. According to Horn- scheidt (2006) here it is important to ask in how far the basic concept of gender is of such high relevance (cf. social imperative, section 5.1) that it is expressed within grammatical categories such as gender (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 116). This further implies that there may be cases in which it is obligatory and thus rule based to express gender and thus gender specification could be understood as a grammatical phenomenon that sometimes employs grammatical gender.
I summary, this chapter asked for the “potential relevance of a scientific dis- course with a certain power of normalization and authority” (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. p. 119) for the development of gender in language. A theoretical framework for the further discussion on linguistic research has been laid out. The most important assumption is that the language system is viewed as a form of language usage which is more or less conventionalized. Thus, a strong focus on language use for linguistic analysis is promoted.
3. Feminist linguistics - overview of the literature
In this chapter an overview on the development of feminist linguistics from the 1970s to the present day is given. There is a strong focus on the German lang- uage area, but also influences from the English speaking research community are discussed. Parts of this chapter were also published (in German) in Posch (2011).
3.1. The development of feminist linguistics
In the German language area feminist linguistics has been established since the nineteen seventies. The field deals on the one hand with discourse studies, the differences between men and women in talk and interaction and how these con- tribute to discrimination. On the other hand it is concerned with the grammar of German as a factor in the ongoing struggle for equal rights. This occupation with potentially discriminating structures in language has acquired some fame under the name system critique, the criticism of the language system i.e. grammar. This branch of feminist linguistics focuses on the so-called generic masculine or default masculine in personal appellation. Luise Pusch (1997), one of the pioneers of feminist linguistics, provokingly asked how it can be possible that a group with 99 female students and one male student, in German can be subsumed under the generic masculine term Studenten (see Pusch 1997; 1999; 2004; 1990). In the fol- lowing section, a short overview of the developments of feminist language system critique will given. The struggle from the first critique of the generic masculine to forms of gender symmetric language usage found today will be illustrated shortly and some more recent approaches to the field of study will be touched on. The question why a renewed focus on gender fair language use is indispensable for the humanities will be raised.
In the German language area an inimitable dispute arose immediately after the first feminist language analyses were published. The differentiation or the intermixture of grammatical gender and sexus was the source of this fight. In her article Linguistik und Frauensprache linguist Senta Trömel-Plötz (1997) was the first to hint at a problematic interplay between grammatical gender and gen der. She describes some aspects which are particularly relevant for the German language with regard to grammatical gender. Thus, she mainly criticizes what is known as generic masculine or default gender:
“Generic use of a noun, for example, the listener (as a type per se), the human (as species), the doctor (in general) etc. as well as the indefinite personal pronouns like, everyone, someone, one, who are—as it is said— gender-indefinite [ . . . ]” (Trömel-Plötz, 1997, pp. pp. 229-238).
Trömel-Plötz (1997) was the one to suggest that, because the seemingly indefi- nite form is at the same time also the gender specific form of the masculine, there are disadvantages for women. She indicates the problematic concurrence of the generic and specific form as well as the notion of the MAN-bias (=male as norm, see section 3.3, p. 60) and the continuation of the problem in personal pronouns.
In German women can be denoted with a grammatically masculine form without problems, as for example in a sentence like the following:
Die Zusammenarbeit zwischen Arzt und Patient im Rahmen einer Visite ist ein wichtiger Faktor für das Gelingen der Kommunikation. “The cooperation between doctor-MASC and patient-MASC is an important factor for the success of communication”
The forms Arzt and Patient are masculine in grammatical gender but - as is often argued - this has nothing to do with the sex of a person. Rather, the masculine form can be used if the sex of a person is not known or irrelevant. Trömel-Plötz (1997) now is considered to be one of the founders of German feminist linguistics, as she triggered off the discussion about the seemingly gender neutral, generic masculine or default masculine. Trömel-Plötz (1997) states that this form does not really function in a gender neutral way but it rather deletes women out of our world of thinking. Naturally, early German feminist linguistic approaches were strongly influenced by the engagement with language and gender of American feminist researchers, such as Dale Spender (1980 2008), Ann Bodine (1975 2008), Wendy Martyna (1980 2008) and many more.
Excursus: the language critique of English Feminist language critique of the English language provided, as is often the case, the background on which German feminist linguists based their studies and their criticism. In English feminist linguistic approaches earlier were also labeled “sis- peak” or “libspeak tantrum” in the general public (Martyna,1980 2008, p. p. 158) and were met with denial by both, the public and linguist research. In the follow- ing section provides a brief overview of the main arguments of English feminist language critique.
3.1.1. The generic masculine or default
In English, as opposed to German, grammatical gender is no longer a distinctive feature. One of the first English language approaches to a critique of the generic masculine forms was made by Australian feminist researcher Dale Spender in 1980. She harshly criticized prescriptive grammarians who worked in favor of enhancing the masculine pronoun he over the older generic form they. In English it was generally customary to denote a person whose sex was unknown with the plural, as, for example, in “No one is sexist, are they?” (Wales, 2006, p. p. 110)
This phenomenon is also known as as common gender as the following table 3.1 exemplifies:
Table 3.1.: Common gender reference
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
This type of generic anaphoric reference was a feature of many English dialects and still is true for today: “What can be seen as the desired ’under-specification’ in terms of pronominal gender marking is certainly a feature of many dialects of English, where a common 3PP to cover both male and female reference is quite usual [ . . . ]” (Wales, 2006, p. p. 111). In English the rule of generic usage was much more actively enforced into the language than in German. Usage of the generic he was already documented from Old English onwards, the reason being that referents and writers of those texts were male, or as Ronneberger-Sibold (2008) puts it: “No reader familiar with ancient texts will be astonished to learn that the generic use of masculine grammatical gender dates back to Old English, and that it is motivated by the fact that, in these texts, the prototypical human referent is a male [ . . . ]” (Ronneberger-Sibold, 2008, p. p. 114). So Ronneberger-Sibold (2008) assumes that the reason that the masculine ended up becoming the default form lies in the fact that men were seen as the default human. In English feminist linguistics, hence, there was some discussion on the question whether or not the actual act of prescribing the generic masculine actively contributed to its very broad proliferation. This idea is taken up, among others by, Bodine (1975 2008). According to her, the implementation of generic ‘he’ goes hand in hand with ‘natural order’ theories that were popular at that time. These were by extension used as argumentative foundation for the assumption that ‘he’ is the “worthier” pronoun than ‘she’. Bodine (1975 2008) refers to English grammarian Thomas Wilson, who wrote in the 16 th century
“[ . . . ] let us kepe a natural order, and set the man before the woman for maners Sake” (Bodine,1975 2008, pp. and references therein).
Bodine (1975 2008) advances the view that the generic masculine would not have been equally triumphant if it had not been promoted by descriptive grammars. Curzan (2004) locates first prescriptive attempts to promote generic ‘he’ in the 18 th century. In 1794 there was a first attempt to correct the agreement in sen- tences in which they referred to a singular. This was considered as a rule violation and they was substituted by he (Curzan, 2004, p. p. 59). Curzan, as opposed to Bodine, is of the opinion that these prescriptive acts cemented the generic us- age of the masculine form but that it had already existed much earlier. In her study, Curzan (2004) concludes that: “The masculine gender monopolizes over 80 percent of the antecedent nouns in the Old English part [of her study]” and more than 70 percent of her Middle English data (Curzan, 2004, p. p. 69). The following example from Curzan (2004) shows Middle English generic usage:
Syche a persone ys ful slogh, Be he hygh, or be he logh... ’Such a person is very lazy, be he high or be he low’ As the example shows, generic usage of the masculine form existed earlier in En- glish. One must not forget that “The ultimate reason [for the generic masculine] is, of course, the sociocultural and economic dominance of men in a patriarchally organized society [ . . . ]” (Ronneberger-Sibold, 2008, p. . 115). But “a purely pre- scriptive origin of generic he” as has often been alleged is neither supported by Ronneberger-Sibold (2008) nor by Curzan (2004). But, what Ronneberger-Sibold (2008) criticize Curzan (2004) for is that she does not see an apparent link be- tween the “highly valuable, meticulous investigation of the English gender shift” and the “dedication to feminist linguistics”. According to Ronneberger-Sibold, one has to ask why there seems to be an apparent difficulty of matching historical linguistics with feminist linguistics (Ronneberger-Sibold, 2008, p. p. 119). This problem, or this strong separation between ‘serious (historical) linguistics’ (ob- jective) as opposed to feminist linguistics will be discussed in greater detail later in chapter 5.
3.1.2. Prescriptive or descriptive?
Still, it was partly because of grammatical prescriptions that language usage is in favor of and from the viewpoint of men. Only when grammarians took up this type of usage and turned it into a grammatical rule it acquired its status as ‘natural’ and ‘systematic’. The possible, clearly patriarchally characterized form of usage was thus fixed and turned into what is ‘correct’. Grammarians insisted on it being used in this way for the sake grammatical correctness. In 1794 a first attempt to correct the agreement in sentences in which ‘they’ referred to a singular. This was considered as a rule violation and ‘they’ was substituted by ‘he’ (see Curzan 2004, pp. p. 59; Lindley1808 1809). According to Wales (2006) one eighteenth century grammarian stated that “[ . . . ] no person of tolerable taste could ‘endure’ she with the indefinite pronoun one, for example” (Wales, 2006, p. p. 114).
This attempt to correct grammar was later set into official law. In that way, even at this time, grammar was not only a systematic feature of a language but rather a tool used for creating a systematization which later would become natural to language users. So, in parts “[t]he introduction and legitimation of ‘he/man’ was the result of deliberate policy and was consciously intended to promote the primacy of the male as a category” (Spender,1980 2008, p. p. 22). Spender, an advocate of the Sapir-Whorf-Hypothesis (cf. section 2.3.3), on p. 22) and one of the first feminist linguists, insists on the reality-forming effect this kind of language policy had on language users, and she very much focuses on language usage. As she puts it:
“It is our capacity to symbolize and the use (or misuse) we make of the symbols we construct that constitutes the area of language, thought and reality” (Spender,1980 2008, p. p. 13).
The approach of Spender (1980 2008) thus criticizes the general opinion that grammar is something objective that actually exists within a language but inde- pendent of language users. For her the very prescriptive measurement taken by the early grammarians resulted in the “departure from the proposition that males are more important” (Spender,1980 2008, p. p. 13) into the direction of the con- cept of ‘male’ being the normal representative of the entire human species. It might be argued though that grammarians only tried to capture the functioning of the gender categories. But, it is without doubt that they did not do this objec- tively but rather along the lines of what they knew and associated with the terms ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’. Hence, it cannot be said the functioning of the cate- gory is by accident in favor of ‘men’ and it is by arbitrariness that the masculine is the generic. Linguistics has long tried to whitewash its own field by referring to the arbitrariness of language and by stretching this term to its breaking point Spender (1980 2008).
It was usually not necessary to give any explanation on why a man would be mentioned before a woman. So, grammarians were on safe ground arguing against common they on the basis of the so-called natural order. Behind this lies the belief that men have to come first in a natural order, the idea of the superiority of the male, of the being the more original human being just as it is said in the Bible. Spender sees in this a first reflection of patriarchy in the language structure. She here refers to one of the oldest prescriptive works The Arte of Rhetorique by Thomas Wilson (1553), who said:
And what though it often so happeneth (God wot the more pitty) yet in speaking at the least, let vs keepe a naturall order, and set the man before the woman for maners sake (Wilson,1909 1998, Book III).
Later records of grammarians reveal that it was not only viewed as natural that women should come second but also proper because “the male gender was the worthier gender” (Spender,1980 2008, p. p. 21). Spender, and after her many others, criticize the very big role that prescriptiveness played and still plays in the construction of grammars. Especially, as grammarians generally tend to refer to other grammarians for confirmation of what is grammatically correct:
cf. Butler 2004
“pejorisierend statt pejorativ” (Hornscheidt, 2006, pp. p. 616)
cf. Coseriu (1988): language is a dynamic process, the ‘system’ is produced, reproduced and modified continuously; it gains a certain stability by reproducing it very often; cf. Kienpointner (2000): the sexist tendency in vocabulary and grammar is not a problem of the language system but of language norms (Kienpointner, 2000, p. p. 228).
for a more detailed view of this approach Wilson recommends Kosslyn (1996).
see also page 83; there is a social imperative to categorize people in binary gender opposition (Eckert and McConnell-Ginet, 2007, p. p. 228).
cf. Pusch (1997)
for a review Wilson suggests: Langacker 1999; Langacker1999 2008, Talmy 2003 and also Tomasello 1998
Deignan (2005) is very tentative here about using the term ‘embodiment’ here, as the term is not always used in the same way in the literature.
retrieved by COSMAS-Corpustool
for references of this kind see the explanation in chapter 7.1 and appendix ??.
Lakoff and Johnson 2003.
cf. Hardin and Maffi (1997), Lucy (1996) and Wolff and Holmes (2011)
a northern Mexican language, cf. Kennedy (1990)
cf. Bourdieu (1990); Bourdieu (1991) and Glasersfeld (1996)
In the eyes of a housefly the tree simply looks very different, it is nevertheless in the same way ‘real’ to the fly as it it real to humans; We cannot say the fly’s viewpoint is not valid (I want to thank Elisabeth Mairhofer for this example).
see Hornscheidt (2006) and also references therein to Michel Foucault: cf. Foucault (1974, 1980); Foucault and Raulff (1977)
Reference to Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice: “Practice is observable in instances of ongoing social interactions among individuals, which most often involves language [ . . . ]” (Watts, 2007, p. p. 148)
cf. Bourdieu (1990); Bourdieu (1991)
especially, in the generative tradition linguistics is viewed as more of a natural science rather than a humane disciple
“The generativist hegemony in the institutionalized field of linguistics had as a result, amongst others, that interests in language and culture, which do not conform with generative views, had to take a place outside or at the borders of linguistics” (Hornscheidt, 2003, p. p. 65). “From the point of view of pragmatics we can only regret that a relative dominance of the Chomskyan paradigm seems to have interrupted the flow of Saussure’s ideas in linguistics” (Verschueren, 1999, p. p. 271)
Hornscheidt here refers to Joseph and Taylor (1990, pp. p. 25)
cf. Coseriu (1992)
for a criticism of this and a plead of core meaning see Kienpointner (2008, p. p. 77)): “[ . . . ]the assumption of a language-specific, context-independent core meaning of words and sentences will be defended.”
cf. Werlen: “Spätestens jedoch mit der Publikation von B. Berlin / P. Kay (1969) schien das Thema für die Sprachwissenschaftler uninteressant geworden zu sein” (p. 31 Werlen, 2002, pp. and references therein);
“[ . . . ] der Zusammenhang von Sprache, Welt und Wirklichkeit auf eine sprachliche Abbild- funktion reduziert wird”
this continuum is comparable to the notion animacy hierarchy, cf. section 6.2.1, on p. 117
cf. Meillet (1982)
reprinted here with friendly permission of iup
Trömel-Plötz (1997) was speaking of biological sex; the question sex vs. gender was not raised at that time
except for personal pronouns and some residual suffixes, like ’-ess’.
table as in: Wales (2006, p. p. 110)
Mannyng, Robert of Brunne ’ s “ Handlyng Synne ” 161 as cited in Curzan 2004, p. p. 71
cf. Leonard, 1962
cf. Curzan (2004, pp. p. 59); Bodine (1975 2008)
cf. the discussion on the MAN-principle in section 3.3, on page 60
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- Language and Gender Linguistics German feminist linguistics corpus cosmas generic masculine binnen-i beidnennung gender symmetry grammar genus sexus