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The Use of Gender Markers in Animals

As Demonstrated by Issues of National Geographic


Ludmila Zemková

This book is a contribution to the study of the linguistic concept of gender. It focuses on the problem of assigning gender to animal nouns. This problem is topical in view of the fact that in present-day English, gender is a marginal grammatical category and therefore recedes into the background in descriptions of today’s English. Grammatical gender is a rare topic of research, scientific discussions or papers. The detailed analysis of gender assignment to animal names is based on two subcorpora: the English edition of National Geographic and the English edition of the Journal of Zoology. The book closes with a contrastive analysis of gender markers.
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2. Theoretical background


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2.  Theoretical background

To avoid possible misunderstanding, the term of gender must be initially defined, because it is used to refer to a variety of concepts in linguistic literature. When the research focus is on gender as manifested in language, the usual objectives are to discuss the differences between male and female use of language, or the differences in the representation of women and men in a language.

2.1  The History of Gender

This chapter attempts to give a short overview of the history of gender, both generally and in comparison with selected languages. In this context, the following questions need to be answered:

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