Concept

Gender neutrality in languages with gendered third-person pronouns

Summary
A third-person pronoun is a pronoun that refers to an entity other than the speaker or listener. Some languages with gender-specific pronouns have them as part of a grammatical gender system, a system of agreement where most or all nouns have a value for this grammatical category. A few languages with gender-specific pronouns, such as English, Afrikaans, Defaka, Khmu, Malayalam, Tamil, and Yazgulyam, lack grammatical gender; in such languages, gender usually adheres to "natural gender", which is often based on biological sex. Other languages, including most Austronesian languages, lack gender distinctions in personal pronouns entirely, as well as any system of grammatical gender. In languages with pronominal gender, problems of usage may arise in contexts where a person of unspecified or unknown social gender is being referred to but commonly available pronouns are gender-specific. Different solutions to this issue have been proposed and used in var
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