Edited by Julie Abbou and Fabienne H. Baider
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 264] 2016
► pp. 129–164
The use of the masculine as unmarked (Quirk 1968; Swan 1984; Pauwels 2003) in a covert gender language such as English (Baugh and Cable 1978; Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech and Svartvik 1985), has been singled out as the most prominent feature favouring discriminatory language (Sunderland 2006; Mills 1995). On the other hand, Bantu languages are said to be “genderless” (Prewitt-Freilino, Caswell and Laakso 2012, 269), what leads to the common view that they are sexism-free. This chapter aims to show that Bantu languages are also gender-biased, despite the lack of grammatical gender; and a case in point is Cilubà (L31), a Bantu Language spoken in the D. R. Congo. Accordingly, the chapter sets out to: (1) indicate and explore different areas of gender bias in this language; (2) reveal some gender ideologies constructed through different linguistic forms; (3) trigger language awareness, with a view to implementing gender-neutral linguistic habits.