The functioning of feminativum in the Polish linguistic reality. A case study


The subject of this paper is the so-called Feminativum issue, which is presented in
descriptive terms. The term covers, for instance, female professional names and this paper
examines various Feminativa, their perception by society, and the way they are perceived in
spoken and written language. The paper includes a historical overview and is intended as an
introduction to further research. The purpose of the paper is to highlight a problem concerning
linguistics and to point out the problematic usage and acceptance of feminativum in speech
and daily use – even in forms of social media. Stereotypes, not only of the linguistic kind, can
function in specific well-established manners that can often turn complex social phenomena
into simple and shallow categories, creating a very specific reality. The main aim is to show
two areas that feminativum can cause areas of contention, one with functioning feminativum
and one without. Based on a partial analysis, this paper concludes with a number of diagnoses
regarding feminization (or lack of it) and a draft of the state of female forms in contemporary
general Polish. This leads to the open question of whether we are able to free ourselves from
discrimination based on sex. In reality, I believe that there is still no answer to that question.

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