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definition - Gender-neutral_pronoun

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Gender-neutral pronoun

                   

A gender-neutral pronoun is a pronoun that is not associated with any gender. It designates two distinct grammatical phenomena, the first being pronouns/periphrastics that have been assigned nontraditional meanings in modern times out of a concern for gender equity, and the second being genderless pronouns that occur traditionally in human languages. Most languages do not have gender distinctions in personal pronouns.[1]

In some languages — notably most Indo-European, Afro-Asiatic and a number of Niger–Congo languages — some personal pronouns intrinsically distinguish male from female; the selection of a pronoun necessarily specifies, at least to some extent, the gender of what is referred. Traditionally, the masculine form has been taken to be the markless form, that is the form to be used unless it is known to be inappropriate. This has dictated the masculine pronoun in cases such as

  • reference to an indefinite person, for example: "If anybody comes, tell him"
  • reference to a group containing men and women, for example French: Vos amis sont arrivés — ils étaient en avance. ("Your friends have arrived — they were early") uses the French masculine plural pronoun "ils" instead of the feminine "elles" but in English both translate to "they".

Since as early as 1795,[2] this property has led to the call for gender-neutral pronouns. The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis is a common justification,[citation needed] in addition to humanist and pluralistic reasons,[citation needed] for applying gender-neutral pronouns to the English language. Attempts to invent pronouns for this purpose date back at least to 1850.[2]

Many languages allow the speaker to specify whether one is talking about a male or female, but some languages do not require the speaker to make that choice as an intrinsic part of the language.[3] In some languages, pronouns do not distinguish between genders, so gender equity of pronouns is not relevant. This category includes many East Asian languages (see below) as well as the Uralic languages.

Contents

  Arcaicam Esperantom

Arcaicam Esperantom has a personal, gender-neutral pronoun, egui.

  Armenian

Armenian, an Indo-European language, has gender-neutral pronouns.[citation needed]

  Maithili, Bengali, Assamese, Oriya, Nepali

Despite the fact that it possesses a very large and complex pronominal system, Standard Maithili, Bengali, Assamese, Oriya, and Nepali make no difference in gender in any of its pronouns. Pronouns are differentiated in terms of person, number, social relationship (intimate vs. familiar vs. formal), and proximity to the speaker (proximal vs. distal vs. non-present).[citation needed]

  Chinese

In spoken standard Chinese, there is no gender distinction in personal pronouns: the pronoun () can mean "he", "she", or "it". However, when the antecedent of the spoken pronoun is unclear, native speakers will assume it is a male person.[4] In 1917, the Old Chinese graph (, from , "woman") was borrowed into the written language to specifically represent "she" by Liu Bannong. As a result, the old character (), which previously also meant "she" in written texts, is sometimes restricted to meaning "he" only. In contrast to most Chinese characters coined to represent specifically male concepts, the character is formed with the ungendered character for person rén (), rather than the character for male nán ()."[5]

The creation of gendered pronouns in Chinese was part of the May Fourth Movement to modernize Chinese culture, and specifically an attempt to assert equality between Chinese and the European languages, which generally have gendered pronouns.[4] Of all the contemporary neologisms from the period, the only ones to remain in common use are () for objects, (, from niú , "cow") for animals, and ( from shì , "revelation") for gods. Although Liu and other writers tried to popularize a different pronunciation for the feminine , including yi from the Wu dialect and tuo from a literary reading, these efforts failed, and all forms of the pronoun retain identical pronunciation. This identical pronunciation of the split characters holds true not only for standard Chinese ("Mandarin") but also for all the varieties of Chinese.[5] There is a recent trend on the Internet for people to write "TA" in Latin script, derived from the pinyin romanization of Chinese, as a gender-neutral pronoun.[6]

The Cantonese dialectic third person singular pronoun is keui5 (), and it may refer to people of either gender. For a specifically female pronoun, some writers replace the person radical rén () with the female radical (), forming the character keui5 (). However, this analogous variation to is neither widely accepted in standard written Cantonese nor is it grammatically or semantically required. Moreover, while the character keui5 () has no meaning in standard Chinese, the character keui5 () has a separate meaning unrelated to its dialectic use in standard Chinese.[7]

  English

  Middle English

Historically, there were two gender neutral pronouns native to English dialects, "ou" and "a", but they have long since died out. According to Dennis Baron's Grammar and Gender:

In 1789, William H. Marshall records the existence of a dialectal English epicene pronoun, singular "ou": "'Ou will' expresses either he will, she will, or it will." Marshall traces "ou" to Middle English epicene "a", used by the 14th century English writer John of Trevisa, and both the OED and Wright's English Dialect Dictionary confirm the use of "a" for he, she, it, they, and even I. This "a" is a reduced form of the Anglo-Saxon he = "he" and heo = "she"
Dennis BaronGrammar and Gender[8]

Baron goes on to describe how relics of these sex-neutral terms survive in some British dialects of Modern English (for example "hoo" for "she", in Yorkshire), and sometimes a pronoun of one gender might be applied to a person or animal of the opposite gender.

  Modern English

  It

"It" (including "its" and "itself") is the most common and only third person, singular English gender-neutral pronoun; however, it is used only as a dummy pronoun in various impersonal constructions and to refer to abstractions, places, inanimate objects or materials, and non-human life of low order or unknown gender. The plural of "it"—"they"— is already used in all cases as a plural gender-neutral pronoun. The word "it", however, has an extremely impersonal connotation, even offensive, in common usage and is rarely used in English to refer to an unspecified human being or person of unknown gender. This is because the word "it" connotes that the person being specified is inferior to a person or is an object.

  Legal controversy

Governments, clubs, and other groups have interpreted sentences like "every member must take off his shoes before entering the chapel" to mean that therefore female members may not enter the chapel. The Persons Case, the legal battle over whether Canadian women counted as legal persons eligible to sit in the Senate, partially turned on such a point.[9]

By contrast, the Constitution of Ireland describes the President of Ireland throughout as "he", yet the two most recent presidents were women; in 1997, four of the five candidates in the election were women. Efforts in a court case to argue that "he" excluded women were dismissed by the Irish Supreme Court, which ruled the term "gender-neutral".[citation needed] (The Constitution's primary version is in Irish, where the male pronoun is considered gender-neutral.)

  Historical solutions

  Universal "he"

The use of "he" to refer to a person of unknown gender was prescribed by manuals of style and school textbooks from the early 18th century until around the 1960s, an early example of which is Anne Fisher's 1745 grammar book "A New Grammar".[10]

  • The customer brought his purchases to the cashier for checkout.
  • In a supermarket, anyone can buy anything he needs.
  • When a customer argues, always agree with him.

This may be compared to usage of the word man to humans in general.

  • "All men are created equal."
  • "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
  • "Man cannot live by bread alone."

Gender-specific pronouns were also prescribed when one might presume that most members of some group are the same gender (although in recent times, such presumptions are seen as offensive).

  • A secretary should keep her temper in check.
  • A janitor should respect and listen to his employers.
  • Every plumber has his own tools.
  • An OB/GYN must always be kind to her patients.

The use of "he", "him" or "his" to be used as a gender-neutral pronoun, however, is today seen by some as prejudicial.

Some authors though, turn the convention of the "universal he" upon its head and instead use "she" as referring to a subject of unknown gender. For example, Shafi Goldwasser, a noted female computer scientist—computer science being a field largely dominated by men—uses the pronoun "she" exclusively in her Lecture Notes on Cryptography in reference to cryptographic adversaries.[11] The use of the 'universal she' is also common in contemporary English-speaking Philosophy.[citation needed]

  Singular "they"

Since at least the 15th century, "they" (though, as with singular "you", used with verbs conjugated in the plural, not the singular), "them", "themself", "themselves", and "their" have been used, in an increasingly more accepted fashion, as singular pronouns. This usage of the word "they" is often thus called the singular "they". The singular "they" is widely used and accepted in Britain, Australia, and North America in conversation. It is important to note that this is not recognized by the SAT and other standardized tests. Many of the older examples include "each" or "every" or similar, causing mental admixture with genuine plural.

  • I say to each person in this room: may they enjoy themselves tonight!
  • Anyone who arrives at the door can let themself in using this key.
  • Eche of theym sholde ... make theymselfe redy. — Caxton, Sonnes of Aymon (c. 1489)

In modern colloquial speech, sometimes "they" is used even when the gender of the subject is obvious; "they" implies a generic (or representative of type class) rather than individuated interpretation[12]:

  • If some guy beat me up, then I'd leave them.
  • Every bride hopes that their wedding day will go as planned.
  "One"

Some sentences can be rephrased to use the impersonal pronoun "one". However, in most informal contexts this usage of "one" is becoming increasingly uncommon, and being replaced by an impersonal usage of "you". Compare:

  • Each student should save his questions until the end.
  • One should save one's questions until the end.
  • You should save your questions until the end.

  Modern solutions

It is contended that none of the traditional options is completely satisfactory. The universal grammatically correct "he", in particular, has been a source of controversy. The 19th and 20th centuries saw an upsurge in consciousness and advocacy of gender equity. In that context, the traditional use of the universal "he" appears biased toward men and against women. More gender-equitable suggestions have therefore been introduced.

  "(S)he"

The periphrastics "she or he", "him or her", "his or her", "his or hers", "himself or herself" are seen by some as resolving the problem, though they are cumbersome. They can be abbreviated in writing as "he/she", "(s)he", "s/he", "him/her", "his/her", "himself/herself", but when spoken have no accepted abbreviation. With the exception of "(s)he" and "s/he", one still has the choice of which pronoun to place first.

  Alternation

Authors sometimes employ rubrics for selecting "she" or "he" such as

  • Use the gender of the primary author.
  • Alternate between "she" and "he".
  • Alternate by paragraph or chapter.
  • Using "he" and "she" to make distinctions between two groups of people.
  Invented pronouns

Some groups and individuals have used non-standard pronouns, hoping they will become standard. Various proposals for such changes have been around since at least the 19th century. For example, abbreviated pronouns have been proposed: 'e (for he or she) or 's (for his/hers); h' (for him/her in object case); "zhe" (also "ze"), "zher(s)" (also "zer" or "zir"), "shi"/"hir", and "zhim" (also "mer") for "he or she", "his or her(s)", and "him or her", respectively; 'self (for himself/herself); and hu, hus, hum, humself (for s/he, his/hers, him/her, himself/herself). The American Heritage Book of English Usage says of these efforts:

Like most efforts at language reform, these well-intended suggestions have been largely ignored by the general English-speaking public, and the project to supplement the English pronoun system has proved to be an ongoing exercise in futility. Pronouns are one of the most basic components of a language, and most speakers appear to have little interest in adopting invented ones. This may be because in most situations people can get by using the plural pronoun they or using other constructions that combine existing pronouns, such as he/she or "he or she".[13]

According to Dennis Baron, the neologism that received the greatest partial mainstream acceptance was Charles Crozat Converse's 1884 proposal of thon, a contraction of "that one" (other sources date its coinage to 1858[14] or 1859[15]):

Thon was picked up by Funk and Wagnall's Standard Dictionary in 1898, and was listed there as recently as 1964. It was also included in Webster's Second New International Dictionary, though it is absent from the first and third, and it still has its supporters today.[16]

"Co" was coined by feminist writer Mary Orovan in 1970.[17] "Co" is in common usage in intentional communities of the Federation of Egalitarian Communities,[18] and "Co" appears in the bylaws of several of these communities.[19][20][21][22] In addition to use when the gender of the antecedent is unknown or indeterminate, some use it as gender-blind language and always replace gender-specific pronouns.[23]

Certain sites[which?] on the internet have also coined the gender-neutral pronoun "en".[citation needed]

The pronoun "phe" was coined at Brown University and is now used by The Female Sexuality Workshop at the University.

Within the fictional Orion's Arm universe, populated with many genetically-altered humans, alien, and artificial lifeforms, there are many possible genders, so terms such as "e", "em", "eir" are commonly used to avoid confusion.[24]

  Summary

The following table summarizes the foregoing approaches.

  Nominative (subject) Oblique (object) Possessive determiner Possessive pronoun Reflexive
Traditional pronouns
He He laughed I called him His eyes gleam That is his He likes himself
She She laughed I called her Her eyes gleam That is hers She likes herself
It It laughed I called it Its eyes gleam That is its It likes itself
One One laughed I called one One's eyes gleam That is one's One likes oneself
Conventions based on traditional pronouns
She/he She/he laughed I called him/her His/her eyes gleam That is his/hers She/he likes him/herself
S/he (compact) S/he laughed I called him/r His/r eyes gleam That is his/rs S/he likes him/rself
Singular they They laughed I called them Their eyes gleam That is theirs They like themself
Invented pronouns
Spivak (old) E laughed I called em Eir eyes gleam That is eirs E likes eirself
Spivak (new)[25] Ey laughed I called em Eir eyes gleam That is eirs Ey likes emself
Humanist[26] Hu laughed I called hum Hus eyes gleam That is hus Hu likes humself
Per[27] Per laughed I called per Per eyes gleam That is pers Per likes perself
Thon[28] Thon laughed I called thon Thons eyes gleam That is thons Thon likes thonself
Ve[29] Ve laughed I called ver Vis eyes gleam That is vis Ve likes verself
Xe[30] Xe laughed I called xem Xyr eyes gleam That is xyrs Xe likes xemself
Ze (or zie or sie) and zir[31] Ze laughed I called zir/zem Zir/Zes eyes gleam That is zirs/zes Ze likes zirself
Ze (or zie or sie) and hir[32] Ze laughed I called hir Hir eyes gleam That is hirs Ze likes hirself
Ze and mer[33] Ze laughed I called mer Zer eyes gleam That is zers Ze likes zemself
Zhe, Zher, Zhim[34] Zhe laughed I called zhim Zher eyes gleam That is zhers Zhe likes zhimself
Yo [35] Yo laughed I called yo Yos eyes gleam That is yos Yo likes yoself

  Esperanto

Esperanto has no official gender-neutral pronouns, but there are several unofficial proposals – see the article for details.

  Estonian

In Estonian nouns and pronouns do not have grammatical gender.

  Finnish

The Finnish language does not support gender-specific pronouns. The main division in the third person singular pronoun is between humans ("hän") and animal/inanimate ("se").

  Georgian

Georgian, a South Caucasian language, has gender-neutral pronouns.

  German

The gender-neutral pronoun "man", used similarly to the English pronoun "one", is widely used in both written and spoken German.

  Hebrew

Hebrew has no gender neutral pronouns, everything (every noun,verb or adverb) in Hebrew is either male or female.[citation needed] In case of a group of mixed items of mixed genders, if the group in itself does not have a gender attached to it then it will be referenced as male.

  Irish

In Irish, the masculine singular pronoun is used when referring to masculine nouns, and the feminine when referring to feminine nouns; however, when referring to persons, the masculine or feminine pronoun is normally used for male or female persons respectively, regardless of grammatical gender. There is no gender-neutral pronoun, and official usage varies between systematically using sé nó sí ["him or her"] or using the pronoun of the appropriate gender for the noun referred to. However, the third-person masculine plural disappeared from Irish, and the (originally) feminine siad is now used for all instances of "they"[citation needed].

  Japanese

Japanese does not have pronouns in the Indo-European sense, but does have nouns that are similar to pronouns. For example, kare (?) and kanojo (彼女?) can be used for "he" and "she". However, kare in its plural form may supposedly refer to a group of mixed gender. Depending on context, kare or kanojo may also refer to "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" respectively. This is not commonplace and the phrase ano hito (あの人?, lit. "that person") and other similar phrases would be more appropriate. The most common way to refer to another person is by title or affiliation, e.g. buchō (部長?, director) or Hitachi-san (Mr./Mrs./Ms. Hitachi). In general, the Japanese avoid using pronouns when they can be determined from context, and often use a person's name where English would use a pronoun. This can be seen in the custom of often referring to oneself by name rather than by watashi (?) most commonly by women or boku (?) by men, both meaning "I/myself".

The English titles of "Mr", "Mrs", "Miss", "Ms" are all irrelevant as all people are referred to by the suffix -san (さん?). The more polite -sama (?) suffix is used only in certain contexts with people who are superior in social standing to you, and is also gender-neutral in usage. The most polite suffix -dono (殿?) usually, but not always, refers to males, and is rarely used in modern speech. Both -sama (?) and -dono (殿?) should be used with caution, and only with more than basic understanding of Japanese social structures.

There is a distinction between animate and inanimate, but this is restricted to the verbs that mean "to exist": iru (いる?, animate) and aru (ある?, inanimate) and does not extend to pronouns. There is no equivalent of "it"; instead something like "this/that thing" (この/あの物 kono/ano mono?) would be used, although often the subject or topic would be left out and determined from context.

Japanese does have different styles of speech for men and women – see gender differences in spoken Japanese – so it would be inaccurate to say that the language is entirely gender-neutral. However, for the equivalent of pronouns and titles, the language is essentially gender-neutral.

  Kiswahili

All pronouns, and nearly all nouns are gender-neutral in Kiswahili, and gender must be either inferred through context or by addition of a specific gendered descriptor. For instance, the compound word "anaenda" means either "he is going" or "she is going," and the plural construction "wanaenda" means "they are going" where "they" could be all male, all female, or a mix. Similarly the word "mtu" means a person of either gender, and "mtoto" is a child of either gender. A boy would be specified as "mtoto mvulana," which translates as "boy-child."

  Korean

Before industrialization, in Korean 그 (geu) meant "he", "she", and "it" like Chinese .[citation needed] But in Modern Korean geu usually means "he". 그녀 (geu-nyeo) with the suffix -녀(女, -nyeo) meaning woman, is used for "she". However, nowadays, massmedia use a gender-neutral pronoun "그 (geu)" to refer to a person of either gender as before, but there is no confusion because there is a very weak concept of gender in Korean.[citation needed]

그것 (geu-geot) means "it".[citation needed]

Sometimes geu-nyeo means more than "she" as pronoun, because the word 그 (geu) is also used to show definiteness, like the definite article "that" in English.

  Malay and Indonesian

In Malay and Indonesian, as in most Austronesian languages, there is no grammatical gender; the pronoun dia can mean he, she, him, or her—as well as his or her.[36][37]

  Mongolian

In Mongolian, the word ter (тэр) is used for both she and he.

  Nahuatl

In Nahuatl, all pronouns and pronoun affixes are independent of gender.

  Persian

The Persian language has no trace of grammatical gender: "he"," she", and "it" are all expressed by the same pronoun u (Persian: او.) This lack of specification has allowed for fluidity in reading the gender of both human lovers and the divine beloved in Persian poetry.

  Philippine languages

All Philippine languages, as most Austronesian languages, have no gender pronouns; in Tagalog, for example, siya is used for people (whether male or female), and sometimes for animals.

  Romance languages

The choice of possessive pronoun in many Romance languages is determined by the grammatical gender of the possessed object; the gender of the possessor is not explicit. For instance, in French the possessive pronouns are usually sa for a feminine object, and son for a masculine object: son livre can mean either "his book" or "her book"; the masculine son is used because livre is masculine. Similarly, sa maison means either "his house" or "her house" because "maison" is feminine. Non-possessive pronouns, on the other hand, are usually gender-specific.

As in French, Portuguese and Catalan also determine the gender of object but not of the possessor, by possessive pronouns. Seu stands for a masculine object in both languages (o seu livro/el seu llibre), while Portuguese uses sua and Catalan seva, seua or sa for feminine ones (a sua mansão/la seva mansió). In some Brazilian sociolects and in rapid speech in all of its dialects, the ⟨u⟩ in sua may be completely elided, making pairs where Brazilian Portuguese and Catalan terms do not differ significantly in pronunciation and meaning.

In contrast, Spanish possessive pronouns agree neither with the gender of the possessor nor with that of the possession. In the third person, the possessive pronoun su (or sus for plural - number agrees with the possession) is used. Example: Su libro could mean either "his book" or "her book", with the gender of the possessor being made clear from the context of the statement.

Italian also behaves like French, with phrases such as il mio/tuo/suo libro not implying anything about the owner's sex or the owner's name's grammatical gender. In the third person, if the "owner's" sex or category (person vs thing) is an issue, it is solved by expressing di lui, di lei for persons or superior animals or di esso for things or inferior animals. Lui scese e portò su le valigie di lei (He went downstairs and brought her luggage upstairs). This rarely happens, though, because it is considered inelegant and the owner's gender can often be inferred from the context, which is anyhow much more important in an Italian environment than in an English-speaking one.

  Russian language

In Russian(a Slavic Indo-European language) there are three grammatical genders: male, female and neuter. "он"(on) is used for he, "она"(ona) for she, and "оно"(ono) is a neuter pronoun. In the plural "они" (oni), used for they, is gender-neutral. [38].

  Turkic languages

All Turkish pronouns, like the other members in the family of Turkic languages, are gender-inclusive. The English pronouns "he", "she", and "it" all correspond to the only Turkish third-person singular personal pronoun o.

  Uralic languages

Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian belong to the Uralic languages family of languages (thus not Indo-European) languages. All pronouns are gender-neutral. The third-person singular and plural personal pronouns are hän and he in Finnish, tema (ta) and nemad (nad) in Estonian and ő and ők in Hungarian, respectively, which always refer to persons or animals.

In the last few decades the Finnish spoken language has also moved in this direction. The third-person singular and plural are, respectively, se and ne, which according to the written language specifications refer to an inanimate object or an animal. In informal spoken Finnish, se and ne are routinely used in reference to humans of either gender, animals, and inanimate objects or entities. The distinction between "hän" and "se" is retained in formal situations and in written Finnish except reported informal speech. Thus, at a time when English is moving towards gender-neutrality, Finnish is moving to species-neutrality.

  See also

  Notes

  1. ^ http://wals.info/feature/44A?s=20&z5=3000&z4=2999&z1=2998&z2=2997&z3=2996&z6=2995&tg_format=map&v1=c00d&v2=cd00&v3=cf6f&v4=d00d&v5=df6f&v6=cfff
  2. ^ a b Williams, John (1990s). "History — Modern Neologism". Gender-Neutral Pronoun FAQ. http://www.aetherlumina.com/gnp/history.html#net. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  3. ^ Siewierska, Anna; Gender Distinctions in Independent Personal Pronouns; in Haspelmath, Martin; Dryer, Matthew S.; Gil, David; Comrie, Bernard (eds.) The World Atlas of Language Structures, pp. 182–185. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-19-925591-1
  4. ^ a b Ettner, Charles (2001). "In Chinese, men and women are equal - or - women and men are equal?". In Hellinger, Maris; Bussmann, Hadumod. Gender Across Languages: The Linguistic Representation of Women and Men. 1. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 36. 
  5. ^ a b Liu, Lydia (1995). Translingual Practice: Literature, National Culture, and Translated Modernity--China, 1900-1937. Stanford University Press. pp. 36-38. 
  6. ^ Baido.com
  7. ^ "Chinese Character Database: Phonologically Disambiguated According to the Cantonese Dialect". Chinese University of Hong Kong. 2006. http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/lexi-can/. Retrieved 2007-02-16.  The entry for "" (Humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk) notes its use as a third-person pronoun in Cantonese, but the entry for "姖" (Humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk) does not; it only gives the pronunciation geoi6 and notes that it is used in placenames.
  8. ^ Baron, Dennis (1986). Grammar and Gender. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03526-8.  as cited by: Williams, John (1990s). "History - Native-English GNPs". Gender-Neutral Pronoun FAQ. http://www.aetherlumina.com/gnp/history.html#native. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  9. ^ "Alberta's Famous Five named honorary senators." The Globe and Mail, October 11, 2009.
  10. ^ Patricia T. O'Conner; Stewart Kellerman (July 21, 2009). "All-Purpose Pronoun". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/magazine/26FOB-onlanguage-t.html. 
  11. ^ Shafi Goldwasser and Mihir Bellare "Lecture Notes on Cryptography". Summer course on cryptography, MIT, 1996-2001
  12. ^ Michael Newman (1996) Epicene pronouns: The linguistics of a prescriptive problem; Newman (1997) "What can pronouns tell us? A case study of English epicenes", Studies in language 22:2, 353–389.
  13. ^ "5.4, Gender: Sexist Language and Assumptions — epicene pronouns". The American Heritage Book of English Usage. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1996. ISBN 0-395-76785-7. http://www.bartleby.com/64/C005/004.html. 
  14. ^ Writing about literature: essay and translation skills for university, p. 90, Judith Woolf, Routledge, 2005
  15. ^ http://www.wordnik.com/words/thon
  16. ^ Baron, Dennis (1986). "10, The Word That Failed". Grammar and Gender. Yale University Press. p. 201. ISBN 0-300-03883-6. http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/essays/epicene.htm. 
  17. ^ Baron, Dennis. "The Epicene Pronouns". http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/essays/epicene.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  18. ^ Kingdon, Jim. "Gender-free Pronouns in English". http://www.panix.com/~kingdon/gender.html. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  19. ^ "Skyhouse Community – Bylaws". http://www.skyhousecommunity.org/paperwork/skybylaws.php. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  20. ^ "Bylaws – Sandhill – 1982". http://thefec.org/node/72. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  21. ^ "Bylaws – East Wind – 1974". http://thefec.org/node/70. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  22. ^ "Bylaws – Twin Oaks". http://thefec.org/node/73. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  23. ^ "Visitor Guide – Twin Oaks Community: What does all this stuff mean?". http://www.twinoaks.org/community/visit/guide.html#lingo. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  24. ^ http://www.orionsarm.com/xcms.php?r=oaeg-view-article&egart_uid=495360fba7a46
  25. ^ Williams, John. "Technical - Declension of the Major Gender-Neutral Pronouns". Gender-Neutral Pronoun FAQ
  26. ^ Used in several college humanities texts published by Bandanna Books. Originated by editor Sasha Newborn in 1982.
  27. ^ MediaMOO's "person" gender, derived from Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time (1979), in which people of 2137 use "per" as their sole third-person pronoun.
  28. ^ proposed in 1884 by American lawyer Charles Crozat Converse. Reference: "Epicene". The Mavens' Word of the Day. Random House. 1998-08-12. http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=19980812. Retrieved 2006-12-20. 
  29. ^ Proposed by New Zealand writer Keri Hulme some time in the 1980s. Also used by writer Greg Egan for non-gendered artificial intelligences and "asex" humans.
    Egan, Greg (July 1998). Diaspora. Gollancz. ISBN 0-7528-0925-3. 
    Egan, Greg. Distress. ISBN 1-85799-484-1. 
  30. ^ A discussion about theory of Mind: a paper from 2000 that uses and defines these pronouns
  31. ^ Gender-Neutral Pronoun FAQ
  32. ^ Example:
    Bornstein, Kate. My Gender Workbook. ISBN 0-415-91673-9. 
  33. ^ Creel, Richard (1997). "Ze, Zer, Mer". APA Newsletters. The American Philosophical Association. http://www.apa.udel.edu/apa/archive/newsletters/v97n1/teaching/ze.asp. Retrieved 2006-05-15. 
  34. ^ Foldvary, Fred (2000). "Zhe, Zher, Zhim". The Progress Report. Economic Justice Network. http://www.progress.org/fold162.htm. Retrieved 01-05 2010. 
  35. ^ Mignon Fogarty. "Grammar Girl / Yo as a Pronoun.".
  36. ^ Othman, Zaharah; Atmosumarto, Sutanto (29 June 1995). "Language points: Personal and possessive pronouns". 978-0-415-11012-9 Colloquial Malay: The Complete Course for Beginners. Colloquial Series. Routledge. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-415-11012-9. http://books.google.com/books?id=1Fr4FeX0UaIC&pg=PA13. 
  37. ^ Salim, Srinawati (November 2007). "Pronouns". Indonesian Dictionary and Phrasebook: Indonesian–English, English–Indonesian. New York: Hippocrene Books. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-7818-1137-8. http://books.google.com/books?id=kVr11CEaR6cC&pg=PA13. 
  38. ^ http://www.study-languages-online.com/russian-personal-pronouns.html

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