gender voice variants

"Martin J. Dürst" duerst at
Fri Dec 21 09:38:53 CET 2012

On 2012/12/21 8:02, John Cowan wrote:
> Michael Everson scripsit:

>> What about children?
> Children are, the last I looked, either male or female in their speech
> habits; indeed, those habits are laid down in childhood.

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

> Here's Peter
> Wimsey explaining it to his friend Charles Parker in the story I spoke of:
>      "I have mentioned to you before, Charles," said Lord Peter,
>      "the unwisdom of falling into habits of speech. They give
>      you away. Now, in France, every male child is brought up to
>      use masculine adjectives about himself. He says: Que je suis
>      beau! But a little girl has it rammed home to her that she is
>      female; she must say: Que je suis belle! It must make it beastly
>      hard to be a female impersonator. When I am at a station and I
>      hear an excited young woman say to her companion, 'Me prends-tu
>      pour un imbécile' — the masculine article arouses curiosity. And
>      that's that!"

Well, the above statement might be a grammatically correct way to 
express something like "What do you think, I'm not one of these stupid 
guys, I'm a sophisticated girl.".

Regards,   Martin.

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