Re: Inclusive Language, Hungarian

Adrian Tanner (atanner@MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA)
Thu, 17 Nov 1994 12:03:01 -0330

On Wed, 16 Nov 1994, Tibor Benke wrote:

> For years I have been telling my friends that the whole problem would be
> easily resolved if we adopted Hungarian as the official language of the
> planet. There are two third person pronouns, one designating animals or
> objects and one designating people. Also, almost all terms for jobs are
> gender neutral and , in principle, all could be. ;-) >

Let us note the very much alive aboriginal languages (in the northern part
of North America, anyway) do not suffer from the limitations of gender
terminology in English. In fact one frequently notices how often native
speakers of Cree have difficulty in using the English gender pronouns, and
often end up choosing 'she' for males and 'he' for females. On the other
hand, I once heard a paper which suggested that in Iroqouan languages the
female was the unmarked case, just as in English male is (i.e. if you do
not know the gender, or gender is irrelevant, then the male form stands for
both). Can anyone confirm this?

If this is so, then radical feminists could adopt an Iroqouan language,
and those of us who are ideologically gender neutral can become Cree

Adrian Tanner, Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada