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How many bites can a person get before shes poisened? - singular and plural pronouns as anaphoric reference to singular antecedents
2003 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

English does not have a third person singular common-gender pronoun, and that sometimes presents a problem when deciding which one to use after the indefinite pronouns everybody/everyone, somebody/someone, anybody/anyone, and nobody/no one. This is a highly debated issue that many disagree about. The masculine pronoun he, possessive him, is often recommended by prescriptive grammar books, though it can be seen as sexist language to use the masculine pronoun when both sexes are supposed to be included. The other alternative is to co-ordinate the masculine and the feminine pronouns, as in he or she/ his or her, but this is sometimes seen as awkward and cumbersome. To avoid that, there is the option of using the plural pronouns they/them/their. However, since this construction does not agree with the grammatical number concord, prescriptive grammarians have long considered the plural construction ungrammatical. This investigation looks at the pronouns reference after four dual-gender nouns: a person, an individual, a child, and a student in written and spoken English. The method for this study is computer based corpus studies from the British newspapers The Guardian/The Observer from 1998, 2000, and 2002. The aim of this paper is to investigate if there is a difference in writing and in speech, and if any of the pronouns are used more frequently than the others.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. , 25 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53745Local ID: ENG C-16OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53745DiVA: diva2:1102305
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
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  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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