Edited by Isabel Verdaguer, Natalia Judith Laso and Danica Salazar
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 56] 2013
► pp. 145–164
Gender assignment in present-day scientific English
A case study in the field of Zoology journals
The article aims at exploring an aspect of the category of gender in English – namely what I have called “assigned gender” (Guzmán-González 1989, 1999, 2002, 2012, forthcoming and Guzmán-González & González 2005): the use of covert marks – third person singular and relative pronouns, and sex-sensitive collocations (of the type “moon, mother of dreams”) in a way deviant from the classification most currently assumed for English in modern times; that is to say, he for human males, she for human females and it for everything else (where he, she, it stand for the relevant complete set of pronouns and collocations). In particular, this chapter is based on textual evidence retrieved from a sub-corpus composed of zoology journals and addresses how the category is employed in reference to a particular group of nouns (animals) in a particular register (scientific English) in a particular medium (writing).
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