Státnice anglická filologie - morfologie a syntax (basic units of linguistic analysis in morphology and syntax)

Státnice anglická filologie – morfologie a syntax (basic units of linguistic analysis in morphology and syntax)

Animacy and gender: degree of grammaticalization in English and in Czech (parts of speech reflecting animacy/gender; natural, grammatical gender; personification, marking gender, political correctness)


EN: manifested in various parts of speech (see below)
CZ: manifested in flexion
a) masculine
b) feminine
c) neutral- is manifested in pronouns: personal, possessive, reflexive, relative, interrogative
– is manifested in nouns:
a) special lexical entry both for people and animals; however in this system there are gaps (see question no 2 in lexicology), e.g. general term: horse, male: stallion, female: mare, male offspring: colt, female offspring: filly X Czech: general term: kůň, male: hřebec, female: klisna, male offspring: hříbě, female offspring: hříbě
b) derivation – in EN rare: suffix -ess > actress, waitress, other suffixes for females rarely e.g. in heroine, usherette
c) compounding – typical of EN, not in CZ; e.g. boy student X female student



– in EN what is not a part of a human society is regarded as not animate and has a neutral gender – e.g. dog

political correctness

– we should not refer to people generally as „he“ as we are used to in Czech, so we should used „he or she“ construction or even better refer to people by the plural referential pronoun „they“
– when we speak about some profession where the gender is visible, we should try to use a general term -> instead of saying that policemen are great, we should say police officers are great



– animals can be regarded to be a part of a human society, this rule apply mainly for pets, consequently we refer to this animal not as „it“ but as „he“ or „she“
– some special cases: cars, motorcycles, ships can be referred using the feminine gender


emotional personification

– doesn’t necessary reflect the natural gender


some special cases in poetic style

-cities – some cities are referred as feminine, e.g. Paris
– some objects are referred as feminine – e.g. the Earth

Author: Je to boj

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