Neutral gender for females (dialectal)

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Neutral gender for females (dialectal)

Postby Saaropean » 2015-10-16, 23:46

In some German dialects/languages, neutral gender is used to talk about girls and woman. To learn more about this phenomenon, check out the following links:
As the map below shows, the phenomenon is restricted to the western part of the German-speaking countries. Its core is in Alsace, Luxembourg, Hunsrück und Saarland, the periphery extends to southern NRW, northern Hessen, Baden and central Switzerland. The grey area (northern Germany) is where no definite article is used with first names.

My native dialect is from that orange core area. We use neuter articles and pronouns for all girls and women who are on a first-name basis. Example:
De Jo unn's Marie wohne in Dingmadd. Em Marie sei Hund is die Woch fottgelaaf. Sei Tant, Beggasch Heidi, hat ne gefunn. Das hat ne glei zur Frau Dokta Haas gebrung. Die hat denne Hund unnasucht und feschdgeschdellt, dass a Fleh hatt. Se hat ne ordentlisch gewäscht unn dann konnt's Marie ne abholle komme.

Literal translation to Standard German:
"Der Johannes und das Marie wohnen in Sankt Ingbert. Dem Marie sein Hund ist diese Woche fortgelaufen. Seine Tante, Beckers Heidi, hat ihn gefunden. Das hat ihn gleich zur Frau Doktor Haas gebracht. Die hat diesen Hund untersucht und festgestellt, dass er Flöhe hat. Sie hat ihn ordentlich gewaschen und dann konnte das Marie ihn abholen kommen."

Literal translation to English:
"The[m] Jo and the[n] Marie live in Dingmadd. To the[n] Marie its dog is this week away run. Its aunt, Becker's Heidi, has him found. It has him immediately to the[f] Ms. Doctor Haas brought. She has that dog examined and realized, that he fleas has. She has him properly washed and then could the[n] Marie him up-pick come."

Translation to real English:
"Joe and Marie live in Saint Ingbert. Marie's dog ran away this week. Her aunt, Heidi Becker, found it. She brought him to Dr. Haas right away. The doctor examined the dog and realized it had fleas. She washed it properly, and then Marie could come and fetch it."

In this little story, Jo and the dog are masculine, Marie and her aunt are neuter, the female vet is feminine...

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