Author Topic: Non gendered pronouns in other languages  (Read 3075 times)

barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #100 on: 23 May, 2021, 09:39:02 pm »
I spent a fair bit of time in Romania in the Hungarian part with Hungarian-Romanian families. Even the non-Hungarians wrote their names Surname Forename by default. We had fun trying to work out which name was which on our exchange programme.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #101 on: 23 May, 2021, 10:18:28 pm »
I think my cleaning lady is not Hungarian. She's from Bucharest and her FB postings don't appear Magyar!

Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #102 on: 24 May, 2021, 08:42:28 am »
Ceaușescu did his best to dilute the Hungarian presence in Transylvania by forcibly moving them around the country. There is still a good deal of antipathy between the two peoples, not helped by the botched old chestnut: 1920's Treaty of Trianon.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #103 on: 24 May, 2021, 08:47:29 am »
Swedish has gendered pronouns: 'han' (male) and 'hon' (female). Pretty much the same in the other Scandinavian languages, I think. There is 'det/den', meaning 'it', but you wouldn't use that for a person.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #104 on: 24 May, 2021, 09:40:30 am »
English has one great advantage over many languages, in that the possessive takes its gender from the possessor, whereas e.g. French takes it from the thing possessed.  If I want to distinguish between "his chair" and "her chair" in French I have to say "sa chaise à lui" and "sa chaise à elle", which is a wordy pain in the arse.  Tossing out this excellent English device for the sake of politics is distressing. Puzzling, too: how on earth would you designate "his chair" and "her chair" for people whose names you didn't know without getting up someone's nose?

As Sellar and Yeatman put it, candidates should not try to write on both sides of the paper at once.
But they never got to Carcassonne.

barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #105 on: 24 May, 2021, 01:37:41 pm »
I think regardless of formal grammar in different languages, the people themselves, especially those who identify outside white western binary genders, will start using words themselves...

As ever, there will be several options and in language use, something will come out, somehow... Not all languages/communities will handle it the same way - not all mainstream communities/people will like or want to accept the language changes made, but it'll chug along somehow... Words fading in/out over time.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #106 on: 24 May, 2021, 04:15:03 pm »
It strikes me that some languages have developed ways to make nouns non-gendered and some have done similar for verbs, though both nouns and verbs are probably easier expressed in writing than in speech, but there doesn't seem to be the same progress on pronouns other than where something suitable happens to already exist, eg in Finnish and English.

@Barakta, does BSL or other SLs have anything interesting in this?
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #107 on: 24 May, 2021, 11:40:10 pm »
BSL doesn't really have he/she/it because it's more like computer code, you 'define your person' by signing about them, locate your person in a space and then you point to that space (or use the entity's name sign) to talk about them.

If you're representing different speakers, then again you define your entities and then either use the entity's name sign or more commonly/preferably change your body language to indicate who is talking to who by body language/angle/eye-gaze changes (and changing how you sign often e.g. representing a child would be different from an adult). This is all called "role shift" and is quite complex/hard to learn to do, but I can understand it when I see it even if I can't replicate it (I'm not fluent enough).

If you're in a group and want to sign 'him' or 'her' 'them' or 'you' then you use the same handshape directed at the person with different mouth patterns. I presume you just mouth whatever gender neutral pronoun someone uses. I don't know any deaf nonbinary people but there will be some, and the younger generation have no issue with that stuff. My generation didn't always understand trans stuff and might not have had enough English skills to understand English explanations so I was often trying to hack out explanations in my "Englishy BSL sign" and hope I wasn't making too much of a mess.

No idea how other sign languages do it cos they do differ in how they handle "proforms".

Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #108 on: 25 May, 2021, 07:23:28 am »
As ever, there will be several options and in language use, something will come out, somehow... Not all languages/communities will handle it the same way - not all mainstream communities/people will like or want to accept the language changes made, but it'll chug along somehow... Words fading in/out over time.

^This definitely. You can't stop languages evolving (no matter what the Académie Française etc would like) they will evolve and adapt to fit peoples requirements. You also cant really impose change (well other than at the point of a sword like banning the use of a whole language in schools and official settings - which has been done with Gaelic for example). We will end up with what works for people in conversation and gets the intent across.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #109 on: 25 May, 2021, 08:42:40 am »
BSL doesn't really have he/she/it because it's more like computer code, you 'define your person' by signing about them, locate your person in a space and then you point to that space (or use the entity's name sign) to talk about them.

If you're representing different speakers, then again you define your entities and then either use the entity's name sign or more commonly/preferably change your body language to indicate who is talking to who by body language/angle/eye-gaze changes (and changing how you sign often e.g. representing a child would be different from an adult). This is all called "role shift" and is quite complex/hard to learn to do, but I can understand it when I see it even if I can't replicate it (I'm not fluent enough).

If you're in a group and want to sign 'him' or 'her' 'them' or 'you' then you use the same handshape directed at the person with different mouth patterns. I presume you just mouth whatever gender neutral pronoun someone uses. I don't know any deaf nonbinary people but there will be some, and the younger generation have no issue with that stuff. My generation didn't always understand trans stuff and might not have had enough English skills to understand English explanations so I was often trying to hack out explanations in my "Englishy BSL sign" and hope I wasn't making too much of a mess.

No idea how other sign languages do it cos they do differ in how they handle "proforms".
Both clear and detailed. Thanks.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Salvatore

  • Джон Спунър
    • Pics
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #110 on: 25 May, 2021, 12:41:33 pm »
Ceaușescu did his best to dilute the Hungarian presence in Transylvania by forcibly moving them around the country. There is still a good deal of antipathy between the two peoples, not helped by the botched old chestnut: 1920's Treaty of Trianon.

I found this out the hard way when without knowing that I was in a Hungarian town I tried to make myself understood  using a Romanian phrasebook.
Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

fd3

Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #111 on: 30 May, 2021, 10:28:56 am »
Sure, we've lost "thou art". Germans might look at that and wonder how we cope in English without the formal/informal distinction. But somehow we've been coping with it (expressing it in other ways) all our lives. We're continually losing some distinctions and developing others.

We still have the tu/vous distinction in French.  Years ago, when I first started road cycling here, using tu to each other was common between cyclists meeting casually on the road, as it is between professional people (doctors etc) even in formal letters.  Nowadays if you tag onto a bunch on the road it's safer to say vous.  But then, fewer and fewer cyclists say hello these days.
It’s very odd adapting back to this in French.  My issue is the opposite of the usual, in that I insist on using “tu” but there is no equivalent plural, so people assume I am being formal when I am using the plural. 
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.