Posted: Oct 02, 2014 3:19 pm
by babel
Jake wrote:I will reply to each objection when I have access to a keyboard, but until then I advise you all to actually read the argument instead of getting hung up on the Post-Script examples, which were added as an afterthought.
Ok, though I did read your entire OP before my previous reply.
1. The communication of gender through pronouns does not serve any vital linguistic function. A subject can still act without a gender and an object can still be acted upon without a gender. Gender is no more vital to one's role within linguistic structure than are any number of other properties such as race, religion, hair color, height, weight, etc. If one's gender becomes relevant within a certain context, one's gender can be intentionally specified just as one's race can be intentionally specified should it become relevant. Therefore gendered pronouns serve no vital purpose; we could communicate effectively without them.
But for all these other descriptors, there's no pronoun available, so it requires to add complexity to your sentence to specify. For gender, thanks to the gender specific pronouns, you can easily include that information without much effort.
Furthermore, this argument boils down to "I don't think gender information is that important".
First of all: I disagree, which is just as much valid as your argument that it isn't.
Second: your disagreeing with yourself. For it to be unimportant or irrelevant information, you seem to attach an awful lot of associations and importance to it.