[X] Anthropological Linguistics

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Vol. 44, no. 2 (Summer 2002)


Contents

Yoruba Names and Gender Marking Olanike Ola Orie 115
Sexism in Grammar: The Semantics of Gender in Australian English Anna Wierzbicka 143
Types of Interaction between Evidentials and First-Person Subjects Timothy Jowan Curnow 178

Book Reviews

The Athabaskan Languages: Perspectives on a Native American Language Family (Theodore B. Fernald and Paul R. Platero, editors) Willem J. de Reuse 197
Forty Years On: Ken Hale and Australian Languages (Jane Simpson, David Nash, Mary Laughren, Peter Austin, and Barry Alpher, editors) Jeffrey Heath 200
Toward a Cognitive Semantics. Volume 1: Concept Structuring Systems. Volume 2: Typology and Process in Concept Structuring (Leonard Talmy) Patrick Farrell 201
The Linguistics of British Sign Language: An Introduction (Rachel Sutton-Spence and Bencie Woll) Brenda Farnell 204
The Roots of Old Chinese (Laurent Sagart) Christopher I. Beckwith 207

Abstracts

Yoruba Names and Gender Marking

Olanike Ola Orie
Tulane University

Abstract. Attributive names constitute the principal locus of gender distinction in Yoruba. Masculine names have the tone pattern LLH and contain two monosyllabic verbs denoting semantic themes such as bravery and intentional possession; in contrast, feminine names have LLH or LHH tone patterns and contain verbs reflecting themes involving nurturing. These properties are analyzed as resulting from the interaction of phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Furthermore, differences in the frequency of masculine and feminine names are analyzed as following from markedness. Finally, whereas frequency, femininity, and aesthetics play some role in the selection of feminine names, semantics plays the dominant role.


Sexism in Grammar: The Semantics of Gender in Australian English

Anna Wierzbicka
Australian National University

Abstract. This article explores the puzzling (nonstandard) use of the pronouns he and she in Tasmanian English and argues that behind the apparent chaos there lies a neat system of semantic distinctions, with important cultural implications. It is argued that, on both structural and semantic grounds, four distinct uses of he and she can be identified, that all these four types reflect a certain folk philosophy, and that, in particular, the use of she for objects is based on a sexist (sexual) simile, whereas the use of she for the ambient reflects a male perspective on the environment and male humor. It is also argued, that as a system, the semantic distinctions reflected in the use of he and she constitute an Australian innovation (preserved to some extent in Tasmanian English, and only marginally elsewhere).


Types of Interaction between Evidentials and First-Person Subjects

Timothy Jowan Curnow
La Trobe University

Abstract. Differences can be found between the use of evidentials in sentences with first-person subjects and their use in sentences with only third-person referents. These differences are divided into two types: frequency effects and interpretation effects of various kinds. There are evidentials that are regularly used in sentences with only third-person referents, but extremely rare in sentences with first-person subjects; whether there are evidentials with the opposite distribution is a more complex issue. Differences of interpretation of evidentials in the two types of sentence range from sharp meaning differences, through differences of semantic extension, to differences of pragmatic interpretation.


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