gender voice variants

Michael Everson everson at
Fri Dec 21 10:23:40 CET 2012

On 21 Dec 2012, at 08:38, Martin J. Dürst <duerst at> wrote:

> There is an interesting phenomenon in Swiss German that (small) girls are often neutral rather than female.

The word is "neuter" 

> This comes from the fact that the word girl in German (Mädchen) is neutral because it's a diminutive (which are all neutral in German). Because I'm just speaking Swiss German, but never had to formally learn it, I'm not sure to what extent this shows up in actual speech, but I'm sure there are cases where it does.

Yes, it's because nouns in -chen are neuter nouns.

Michael Everson *

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