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HUMSS - Evelyn Ferstl

Gender-fair language in German: First results from experimental psycholinguistics
When Dec 06, 2021
from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where Seminar room
Contact Name
Attendees Universitätsoffen / open to university members
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Gender-fair language in German: First results from experimental psycholinguistics

 

German is a gendered language. Each noun carries one of three genders: masculine, feminine or neuter. For most person denoting nouns, there is a correspondence between biological and grammatical gender. However, when the biological gender or a person is irrelevant or unknown, or when the noun refers to a mixed group, the default is to use masculine gender. This convention has been criticized by feminist linguists for decades because it is seen to lead to a male bias that strengthens inequality in society. In this talk I present recent psycholinguistic experiments that tackle the question of whether masculine nouns are interpreted in an inclusive, generic way, and whether gender fair forms help to reduce the male bias in language.