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Title: 'Chinese is a sexist language': a re-examination
Authors: Li, Tsz Kwan (李子君)
Department: Department of Linguistics and Translation
Issue Date: 2016
Course: LT6580 Master's Project
Programme: Master of Arts in Language Studies
Supervisor: Dr. Chan, Y. H. Cecilia
Citation: Li, T. K. (2016). 'Chinese is a sexist language': a re-examination (Outstanding Academic Papers by Students (OAPS)). Retrieved from City University of Hong Kong, CityU Institutional Repository.
Abstract: This research re-examines the claim "Chinese is a sexist language" by presenting objectively the linguistic images of Chinese men and women through a re-analysis of four Chinese language features, including characters, words, idioms and proverbs. In the re-analysis, the linguistic images of men are often more superior to women and carry positive connotation. According to the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, the three concepts, language, thought and culture, intertwine with one another (Holmes, 2008). Due to their less positive linguistic images, Chinese women are discriminated socially and culturally as well. When one sex is discriminated linguistically, the language is sexist. However, this research does not solely validate the claim by relying on its re-analysis of the linguistic images of men and women. It also tries to provide a more convincing validation of the claim through using two definitional approaches, which are the consequentialist approach and the propositional approach. By combining the two approaches, a modified definition of a sexist language is developed, which is 'an "X" such as a language is sexist if and only if it, either expressed or unexpressed, intends to cause the oppression of women'. This definition sets up more concrete criteria for validating the claim and provides the same result as in the re-analysis that "Chinese is a sexist language".
Appears in Collections:OAPS - Dept. of Linguistics and Translation

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