Leonidas Pappas, Ioannis D. Karras


The examination of gender in relation to language is an interdisciplinary endeavour that has been the subject of interest of linguists, sociologists, anthropologists, communication experts, psychologists, and scholars in other disciplines, especially after the 1960s, having as its starting point the feminist movements by the end of that decade. Since then, there has been an ongoing debate on whether language endorses sexism, or sexism contributes to the formation of a language. Both discourse and language reflect social realities governed by hierarchy and dominance and consequently reproduce or perpetuate the network of dominant gender biases and stereotypes. This paper will focus on the way language functions in favour of dominant groups and on the means that it uses to convey those asymmetric social structures in terms of grammar, syntax, and semantics within the Standard Average European linguistic area. The secondary objective of the paper is to demonstrate the existence of the aforementioned elements in all of the languages in question, despite not being amongst their grouping criteria.

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linguistic sexism, gender bias, sociolinguistics, eurolinguistics, language reform

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