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A Linguistic Perspective on Feminisation and Gender-Inclusive Language

How Partitive Constructions Can Be Used to Uncover Implicit Gender Bias in Italian

Emma Zanoli    IUSS, Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di Pavia, Italia    



This article reports the results of a study on the perception of feminisation and gender mismatches in Italian. The study probes the intuition of native Italian speakers through tasks that highlight their linguistic habits. The results point to two separate but interrelated reflections. First, they show that semantic gender can override grammatical gender in partitives. Second, they reveal that the acceptance of feminine profession nouns is not widespread, especially for those nouns that refer to prestigious professions. The work presented here stems from an Italian adaptation of a study originally designed for French and German.

Sept. 19, 2022
July 8, 2022
Aug. 1, 2021

Keywords: Gender-fair languagePartitive constructionsGender agreementGender mismatchFeminisation

Copyright: © 2022 Emma Zanoli. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.