Gender assignment in present-day scientific English

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The article aims at exploring an aspect of the category of gender in English &#8211; namely what I have called &#8220;assigned gender&#8221; (Guzm&#225;n-Gonz&#225;lez 1989, 1999, 2002, 2012, forthcoming and Guzm&#225;n-Gonz&#225;lez &#38; Gonz&#225;lez 2005): the use of covert marks &#8211; third person singular and relative pronouns, and sex-sensitive collocations (of the type &#8220;moon, mother of dreams&#8221;) in a way deviant from the classification most currently assumed for English in modern times; that is to say, <i>he</i> for human males, <i>she</i> for human females and <i>it</i> for everything else (where <i>he, she, it</i> 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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