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. 129–164
Gender bias in Bantu languages
The Case of Cilubà (L31)
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.
Keywords: bantu language awareness, gender bias, gender ideologies, gender indexing
Published online: 16 December 2016
Baugh, Albert C., and Thomas Cable
Eckert, Penelope, and Sally McConnell-Ginet
Faïk-Nzuji, M. Clémentine
Fromkin, Victoria, and Robert Rodman
Gee, James P.
Halliday, Michael, and Christian Matthiessen
Hurford, R. James, Brendan Heasley and Michael B. Smith
Kadima, Kamuleta and Huta-Mukana Mutombo
Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson
Lazar, Michelle M.
Lukusa, T.M. Stephen
Mufuta, Kabemba P.
Munyoka, M.C. Andrien
Mutombo, H.M. Daniel, and N. Gilbert Malemba
O’Grady, William, Michael Dobrovolsky, and Mark Aronoff
Prewitt-Freilino, Jennifer L., Andrew T. Caswell, and Emmi. K. Laakso
Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik
Smal, Guy A., and Joseph W. Mbuyi
n. d.). Femme Congolaise Réveille- Toi...! Liège: Desoer.