Chapter 2. Language, gender and age(ism) in Setswana

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Using data from a Setswana corpus built by Thapelo Otlogetswe, this study examines different uses and meanings of Setswana terms for women and men, boys and girls. Many terms express both gender and age. The study is, to the best of our knowledge, the first to show how sexism is inflected with age in an African language, an important contribution in the context of societies where age and sex interact to create hierarchies in the family and society. The chapter concludes that besides their denotative meanings, Setswana sex and age terms have fluid connotative meanings which are closely related to cultural considerations.


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