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Deutche... Gender-Switch in Israeli Hebrew et al.

From:Emily Zilch <emily0@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 9, 2004, 20:06
{ Andreas Johansson } "'Deutscher'? Is that meant to be the native
ethnonym (in which case the lady in question might prefer to be refered
as feminine _(eine) Deutsche_ rather than masculine _(ein) Deutscher_),
or a hybrid of _deutsch_ plus English ending _-er_?"

Eunh. My German is limited to an inherited "Ich kanne meine
Gummischohen nicht finden" (sp?) so when referring to das Gowernator
(i.e. Arnold Schwartzenneger, Governor of my home state) as an
"Österreichlander" she firmly corrected me to, um, I think
"Österreicher" and mentioned a German person wasn't a Deutschland-er
but a Deutch-er.

She might have noted that the better form for her was Deutsche. Or
maybe she's transgendered in Germany, I dunno.

Speaking of which, has anyone else read the "Gender Across Languages"
book I mentioned? It talks about interesting things, like for example
the penchant of Israeli Hebrew speakers to use masculine forms for
intimate speech with other women, i.e. their daughters. 'Gender Switch
in Modern Hebrew', TOBIN Yishai (Ben-Gurion U of the Negev):

"A particularly interesting aspect of what I refer to with the
interchangeable terms 'gender switch', 'gender reversal' and/or 'cross
addressing' in Israeli Hebrew is the following phenomenon: males will
address close female friends, relatives, associates & partners using
masculine pronouns and verb morphology as a sign of affection, intimacy
& solidarity. Furthermore, close female friends, relatives & associates
will also refer to themselves & others and address each other using
masculine forms in a similar manner. More often than not, these
instances of gender reversal are accompanied by a rise in pitch and/or
an intonation pattern associated with 'baby talk' or other instances of
affection, intimacy & solidarity. This use... has been recorded in
literary... as well as spoken Hebrew."

The author continues by noting that this pattern is apparent
cross-linguistically (mentioning Mandarin, Spanish & Swahili) but the
*inverse* is prohibited or is solely insulting and demeaning. There are
languages where both kinds of crossing are present, with mixed
meanings: Amharic, Brazilian Portuguese, Hindi, Lakhota, Rumanian,
Serbian, Grebo, Polish...




Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Douglas Koller, Latin & French <latinfrench@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>