Tuesday, March 04, 2008


New Scietntist brings you the following article...

''Yo' is the word when 'he' or 'she' won't do

* 05 January 2008
* Mark Peters
* Magazine issue 2637

ADRIAN QUINTERO is a transgender person with strong feelings about pronouns. "Our language really needs words to acknowledge folks who do not feel included in the gender binary," says Quintero, who uses the pronouns "ze" (or "zie") and "hir", because "they have the freedom to mean something other than, or in addition to, male and female".

Quintero's mother, Elaine Stotko, shares this interest. A linguistics expert at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, she was fascinated when in 2004 a teacher in her Linguistics for Teachers class asked, "Have you ever heard kids using 'yo' when they mean he or she?"

About half the teachers taking the course had also heard "yo" used in this way, leading Stotko and Margaret Troyer (one of the teachers) to research this development, which they have now documented in the linguistics journal American Speech, DOI: 10.1215/00031283-2007-012).

They found that from at least ...'

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