LINGUIST List 14.2834

Fri Oct 17 2003

Disc: Re: Review: Gender Across Languages

Editor for this issue: Sarah Murray <>


  1.>, Re: 14.2723, Review: Pragmatics/Socioling: Hellinger & Bu�mann

Message 1: Re: 14.2723, Review: Pragmatics/Socioling: Hellinger & Bu�mann

Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2003 13:05:24 -0400
From:> <>
Subject: Re: 14.2723, Review: Pragmatics/Socioling: Hellinger & Bu�mann

I've read with interest this review, but I am writing to warn the
potential readers that the paragraph in the review related to Serbian
contains serious errors/omissions. The paragraph is quoted below:

(SERBIAN The expression of gender in Serbian (287-309) Elke Hentschel)

The events of the 1990s have divided Yugoslavia into three states with
their own variety of Serbo-Croatian, no more describable as unitarian,
and consequent language policies. The focus is here on Serbian,
officially written only in Cyrillic; the Latin alphabet with the
diacritic signs is used. Nouns denoting living beings are lexically
male- and female-specific; gender-indefinite words for children or
young animals are neuter. To most speakers' indifference towards or
rejection of feminine names, feminists respond proposing how to handle
the issue of female invisibility (see Savi,1998). Gender-related
linguistic problems are still of marginal interest, in all three
countries, and the future, for the Serbian, is hardly predictable.

Everyone familiar with the recent history of Yugoslavia knows that
Yugoslavia did not disintegrate into three, but rather into five
(potentially even six) states: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and
Hercegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, and Macedonia. "The three countries"
from the last sentence probably refer to Croatia, Bosnia and
Hercegovina and Serbia-Montenegro, since Slovene is spoken in
Slovenia, and Macedonian in Macedonia.

I hope this makes this presentation clearer.

Mima Dedaic
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