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Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."


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Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."



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Dissertation Information


Title: The Use and Prescription of Epicene Pronouns: A corpus-based approach to generic he and singular they in British English Add Dissertation
Author: Laura Paterson Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Loughborough University, Department of English and Drama
Completed in: 2011
Linguistic Subfield(s): Applied Linguistics; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Language Acquisition;
Director(s): Deborah Cameron
Chris Christie
Elaine Hobby
Arianna Maiorani

Abstract: In English the personal pronouns are morphologically marked for grammatical
number, whilst the third-person singular pronouns are also obligatorily
marked for gender. As a result, the use of any singular animate antecedent
coindexed with a third-person pronoun forces a choice between he and she,
whether or not the biological sex of the intended referent is known. This
forced choice of gender, and the corresponding lack of a gender-neutral
third-person singular pronoun where gender is not formally marked, is the
primary focus of this thesis. I compare and contrast the use of the two
main candidates for epicene status, singular they and generic he, which are
found consistently opposed in the wider literature.

Using corpus-based methods I analyse current epicene usage in written
British English, and investigate which epicene pronouns are given to
language-acquiring children in their L1 input. I also consider current
prescriptions on epicene usage in grammar texts published post-2000 and
investigate whether there is any evidence that language-external factors
impact upon epicene choice. The synthesis of my findings with the wider
literature on epicene pronouns leads me to the conclusion that, despite the
restrictions imposed on the written pronoun paradigm evident in grammatical
prescriptivism, singular they is the epicene pronoun of British English.