LINGUIST List 25.2266
May 22 2014
Qs: Words for 'he' and
Editor for this issue:
Alex Isotalo <alxlinguistlist.org>
Words for 'he' and
E-mail this message to a
I am posting this message on behalf of Liliane
Lijn, an artist who has a linguistic question
but does not have access to the
Liliane is interested in collecting words for
'he' and 'she' in as many languages as possible
where the written form of the word for 'he' is
properly included in the word for 'she', or
vice versa. Since this will lead to a visual
presentations, the forms should be written
forms using the standard orthography of written
languages. Thus, languages using a non-Roman
script will be presented in their own script.
For languages that distinguish upper and lower
case, the representations should be in block
capitals. Thus, English HE and SHE would
illustrate the word 'he' properly included in
the word for 'she', while Lithuanian JIS and JI
would represent the opposite. Spanish Él and
ELLA would not satisfy the criteria, since the
former has a diacritic absent from the latter,
the latter has two letters absent from the
former. But a language where, say, the only
difference between written expressions for 'he'
and 'she' was an umlaut on the vowel in one of
the two words would count. Languages that use
the same written expression for both 'he' and
'she' fall outside the project.
If you send me examples of the words for 'he'
and 'she' that meet the criteria, I will
forward the information to Liliane and make it
publicly accessible. If possible, please send
me the words, in the original script and in
block capitals if relevant, using Unicode; in
the case of special symbols, an accompanying
pdf will help.
A short description of the overall project from
''I am an artist and often work on the edge
between image and language. Please feel free to
view my website http://www.lilianelijn.com
moonmeme is a project that I have been working
on for some years. It involves projecting the
feminine pronoun SHE onto the surface of the
moon where the motions of the earth, sun and
moon will change its meaning over one lunation.
I am at present unable to do this in reality on
the moon but I have done it as a virtual
projection online. I would very much like to do
this in as many languages as possible.''
Linguistic Field(s): Lexicography
Page Updated: 22-May-2014