La lengua degenerada
Juan Cruz Balian
Affiliation: El Gato y La Caja Journal. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Keywords: the degenerated language, lengua y lenguaje, grammar, el gato y la caja, journal project.
Categories: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
Languages: Spanish, Castilian
Languages that attribute a grammatical gender to objects might induce a biased effect on how these objects are perceived. In a famous study by Lera Boroditsky, a list of 24 reverse-gendered nouns was prepared in Spanish and German. In each language, half of them were feminine and half masculine. Native Spanish and German speakers were shown the nouns, written in English, and asked about the first three adjectives that came to their minds. For instance, the word key is masculine in German. German speakers described keys as hard, heavy, metallic, and useful. In contrast, Spanish speakers described them as golden, small, adorable, shiny, and tiny. Conversely, the word bridge is feminine in German, and German speakers described bridges as beautiful, elegant, fragile, pretty, quiet, slender. Spanish speakers said that they were big, dangerous, strong, resistant, imposing, and long. In the most impactful article from El Gato y La Caja community so far, Sol Minoldo and Juan Cruz Balián discuss the evidence supporting this concept and how this scenario aggravates inequities, as well as some of the available alternatives to overcome this situation.