LINGUIST List 14.633

Tue Mar 4 2003

Books: Sociolinguistics: Curzan

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  1. jreid, Gender Shifts in the History of English: Curzan

Message 1: Gender Shifts in the History of English: Curzan

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 16:00:03 +0000
From: jreid <>
Subject: Gender Shifts in the History of English: Curzan

Title: Gender Shifts in the History of English
Series Title: Studies in English Language
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press		 
Book URL:
Author: Anne Curzan, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 

Hardback: ISBN: 0521820073, Pages: 280, Price: $55.00


Based on extensive research, Anne Curzan's study makes a major
contribution by providing historical perspective on controversial
questions regarding the continuing evolution of gender definition. How
and why did grammatical gender gradually disappear from English and
get replaced by a system where the gender of nouns and the use of
personal pronouns depend on the natural gender of the referent? How is
this shift related to "irregular agreement" (she for ships) and
"sexist" language use (generic he) in Modern English? Finally, how is
the language continuing to evolve in these respects?


1. Defining English Gender; 2. The Gender Shift in Histories of
English; 3. A History of Gender, People, and Pronouns: The Story of
Generic He; 4. Third-person Pronouns in the Gender Shift: Why is That
Ship a She?; 5. Gender and Asymmetrical Word Histories: When Boys
Could be Girls; 6. Implications for Non-sexist Language Reform

Lingfield(s): Sociolinguistics
Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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