Language and Gender: a Socio-Cultural Feature Dominating Perception
Anfal A. Alhumaid
This article is dedicated to the correlation of language and thought in the modern socio-cultural discourse. Particular attention is paid to the influence of language on the social gender roles formation. The opening section provides a historical overview of the related theories, one of the most influential being the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. It also studies the contradictory arguments, highlighting the alternative perspectives of the issue under discussion. Being an international language, English is taken as an illustration of gender based lexicon reflecting the social and lexical structure and differentiation. Additional examples from French and Arabic languages are provided to compare differences in linguistic gender. The article also shows that the language itself cannot be formed without the presence of initial human thought. However, being once established, a linguistic norm can greatly influence public opinion, support the social stereotypes and facilitate labeling. Only significant social and economic changes can modify the language usage in a particular location.
Full Text: PDF