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USAGE: WOMYN (was: RE: [CONLANG] Optimum number of symbols, though mostly talking about french now

From:And Rosta <a-rosta@...>
Date:Saturday, May 25, 2002, 20:29
Tom Wier:
> Quoting Andreas Johansson <and_yo@...>: > > > Funny. I know more than one feminist who claims that even having > > gender-specific forms for ANY profession, let alone using, is sexist. Some > > of them think that all the plentiful Swedish profession words ending in > > "-man" should abolished, and in extreme cases also the impersonal pronoun > > "man" too, while others take the more workable approach that "man" in these > > cases should be seen as gender-neutral. > > Yeah -- these people sound like the anglophone feminists who insist > that the word "woman" should be spelled "womyn" because the Old English > construction "wífmann" was sexist, despite the fact that synchronically > for most modern speakers "woman" is monomorphemic, and bears only > phonological remsemblance to "man". This kind of linguistic naivite > annoys me every bit as much as prescriptivists' benighted views of > English dialectology.
"man" and "woman" are unique in pluralizing "men", "women", so the resemblance is morphological as well as phonological. Indeed, for this reason it is tempting to analyse "woman" as cranberry morph "wo-" + morpheme "man". I reckon that is how most speakers perceive things too, and likewise for "male:female". These follow the widespread pattern in English (and Esperanto...) of forming the feminine by adding something to the masculine -- clearly a reflection of markedness principles rather than archetypes of anatomy. --And.


Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>WOMYN (was: RE: [CONLANG] Optimum number of symbols,though mostly talking about french now
Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
John Cowan <jcowan@...>WOMYN (was: RE: [CONLANG] Optimum number of symbols,
Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>WOMYN (was: RE: [CONLANG] Optimum number of symbols,