[Ads-l] Article: Language activists are trying to make French gender-neutral. May 17th 2018

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 23 09:43:55 EDT 2020


The mention of Romance languages and grammatical gender reminded me of
a 2018 article about French.

Website: Economist
Article: Vive la différence - Language activists are trying to make
French gender-neutral
Date: May 17th 2018
https://www.economist.com/europe/2018/05/17/language-activists-are-trying-to-make-french-gender-neutral

[Begin excerpt]
IN FRENCH, as in English, full stops traditionally belong at the end
of sentences. But lately they have been invading the middle of words.
Organisers of recent university sit-ins have called on étudiant.e.s
(students) to join the blockades. Pressure groups urge their
militant.e.s (activists) and adhérent.e.s (members) to take part in
rallies. Normally, the forms of these nouns ending with “es” are
feminine; those with just an “s” are masculine. The optional “e”
between full stops attempts to make them unisex. It is all part of
l’écriture inclusive, or inclusive writing—a defiant response to
charges of French linguistic patriarchy.
[End excerpt]

I have only seen the beginning of the article because it is behind a paywall.

Garson

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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