Article published in:Gender, Language and the Periphery: Grammatical and social gender from the margins
Edited by Julie Abbou and Fabienne H. Baider
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 264] 2016
► pp. 89–128
A hermeneutical approach to gender linguistic materiality
Semiotic and structural categorisation of gender in Hong Kong Cantonese
While most Cantonese grammar textbooks draw on the assumption that gender is absent in this language, the fact, however, remains that the masculine/ feminine relationship – and its consequential social assignation – is indeed expressed in it. This study explores how and where gender is indexed in the linguistic materiality of Cantonese. To serve such purpose, an interdisciplinary framework is built at the crossroads of linguistics and gender studies towards a hermeneutical re-definition of gender as a semiotic form structuring power relationships. This framework leads to an investigation of gender from a contrastive perspective. A corpus of translated sentences from English to Cantonese displays significant “gender shifts” in the interlingual space, which makes gender marking in Cantonese visible in different linguistic levels.
Keywords: Cantonese, contrastive, English, forms, gender shift, grammaticalisation, interlingual dynamics, semiotics, structure
Published online: 16 December 2016
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