you guys

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Apr 17 14:14:42 UTC 2003

At 7:01 AM -0500 4/17/03, Mai Kuha wrote:
>To clarift my first message, "I'm glad I'm not a woman--you guys have too
>many issues to deal with!" seemed particularly interesting because "you
>guys" is used to address all women, and only women.

Right, but only given that particular context.  Cf. "I'm glad I'm not
a linguist--you guys have too many issues to deal with!"--designating
linguists and only linguists.  It's not that "you guys"
conventionally designates women per se but only that it can be
anaphorically linked to a set of addressees salient in the context.
It's the loss of the [+ male] feature not the acquisition of a [-
male] one that's involved.


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