Linguistik online




Sprachliche Gleichbehandlung von Frau und Mann:
Eine korpusgest&uumL;tzte Untersuchung über den Sprachwandel in der Schweiz

Daniel Elmiger (Neuchâtel)



The use of designations used for men and women has been discussed in German (as well as in other languages) very controversally since the seventies. Language use has been challenged by feminist linguists and some propositions have been supported by various regulatory interventions. In German, the most critical issue – the avoidance of generically used masculine forms – has been documented quite thoroughly as regards the individual phenomena (creation and use of personal nouns, alternative pronouns, strategies to avoid generically used masculine forms, etc.), but the actual extent of language use is still unknown so far and has given rise to very diverse appreciations: Whereas some experts reckon that alternative uses are achieving acceptance, others believe that there is stagnation or even a decrease of "nonsexist language".

In this paper we will discuss an explorative study, in which we have looked for evidence for a series of more or less conventional feminine personal nouns in two language corpora: on the one hand the new Schweizer Textkorpus and on the other the public collections that can be queried via COSMAS II. The analysis of the results show specific advantages and disadvantages of each corpus and poses some questions about future explorations in the field of linguistic equal treatment of women and men.

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