Rottet (2008)

De Arbres
  • Rottet, Kevin J. 2008. 'Women in the Welsh workplace: linguistic trends in feminization as reflected in contemporary journalism', Jason F. Siegel, Traci C. Nagle, Amandine Lorente-Lapole, & Julie Auger (éds.), IULC Working Papers 7: Gender in Language: Classic Questions, New Contexts, Bloomington, IN: IULC Publications, 115–133.


 Abstract:
 "Welsh, like many familiar European languages, has grammatical gender in which every noun is either masculine or feminine. Grammatical gender sometimes conflicts with the competing desire to mark words referring to humans in terms of their biological sex. In this paper I lay out the various Welsh morphological categories of names of occupations, professions and trades as applied to males and females. Then I examine the use of such nouns in a contemporary sample of Welsh-language journalism. The data reveal an increasing preference for epicenes, nouns that in Welsh are nearly always grammatically masculine but that can refer to a person of either sex. Evidence includes the fact that with some occupational nouns, feminine forms that are nonetheless established and traditional are not always used, and with others new epicene forms have emerged. Reasons for this Welsh preference for epicenes are also considered."