Do other languages use plural nouns to talk about non binary people?

Just randomly curious i.e. in the same way you'd use "they", you'd use "ellos" in Spanish, though I do wonder since there is a masculine and feminine version, do you just default to masculine like you do with some other words?

2 Answers

  • Pontus
    Lv 7
    5 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    You mean pronouns.  And no, many don't.

    English has some personal pronouns that refer to physical sex (he/him; she/her, it etc).  To know which one to use, you go to the real world first.  The noun the pronoun replaces doesn't matter.

    Some languages have personal pronouns that refer to grammatical gender, a different concept than physical sex. To know which one to use, you must know the noun that is being replaced (if it's a person's name, then the grammatical gender does match the physical sex, IF there are both masculine and feminine gr. genders in the language). If you use a different noun, a different pronoun might be used, because grammatical gender is determined by the noun, the actual string of letters/sounds, and not necessarily by the real world. 

    Some languages with grammatical gender have three genders (often masculine, feminine, neuter, but places, things, ideas, etc can have any of those genders. Some words might only exist in one gender, even if the people it refers to can be male or female). Some have two genders: masculine/feminine; common/neuter, etc.  Some language have many more than three, but in that case the system is usually called "noun classes" instead of gr. gender. 

    Some language have personal pronouns that don't identify physical or gr. gender. 

    In sone languages, personal pronouns aren't used very often.  They can often be omitted when clear from context.

    In yet others, certain personal pronouns can actually be rude in many circumstances. (Japanese is one example).  It's preferred to use the person's name with the appropriate honorific suffix instead of personal pronoun (or to use nothing at all if clear from context). 

    In some languages, like French, the third person plural pronouns, depending on its function in the sentence, may have both masculine and feminine forms (although the masculine plural pronouns can replace a group of feminine and masculine nouns, as long as at least one noun is masculine).   Using third person plural pronouns in French wouldn't solve the problem, plus French pronouns represent gr. gender, not physical sex.   Every single French nouns is either masculine or feminine, based on the actual word, not necessarily on what it represents.  Gender for words for people often matches physical sex, but not always.  The equivalent of "person" is grammatically feminine, even if applied to a man, for example. 

    I don't know what they do in Spanish.

  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    plural pronouns? Not that I know of , but there are almost 7000 languages so I cannot know them all

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