Dec 302012
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Johannes Beller and Juela Kazazi

Institute of Psychology, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany

JUnQ, 3, 1, OQ, 5-8, 2013 (Received 21.08.2012, accepted 14.12.2012, published online 30.12.2012)

In German the generic masculine refers to a generalizing denotation which is grammatically masculine. For example, in the sentence “Wissenschaftler führen Studien durch” (engl. “scientists conduct studies”) “scientists” is meant to be a generic masculine, because usually one implicitly refers to both “Wissenschaftler” (“male scientists”) and “Wissenschaftlerinnen” (“female scientists”) but uses only the masculine form “Wissenschaftler”. Since the 1970s, the use of a generic masculine language, as a sexist one, has been highly debated and alternatives like a gender-fair language have been suggested, with the term gender-fair language referring to the use of formulations, which imply an equal linguistic treatment of men and women — such as in the sentence “Wissenschaftler und Wissenschaftlerinnen führen Studien durch”…

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