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Olika hen-syn. Om bruket av hen i bloggar, tidningstexter och studentuppsatser.

Journal article
Authors Per Ledin
Benjamin Lyngfelt
Published in Språk & Stil
Volume 23
Pages 141-174
ISSN 1101-1165
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Swedish
Pages 141-174
Language sv
Keywords hen, pronoun, gender-neutral, Swedish, usage, generic, language planning
Subject categories Swedish language


In 2012, efforts to launch hen as a gender-neutral pronoun in Swedish sparked a widespread and sometimes fierce debate. This article addresses the establishment of hen in actual usage, in particular in blogs, newspapers, and students’ essays. In general, the use of hen is fairly uncommon, and the majority of occurrences are meta uses; which means the word is discussed more than it is used. In certain areas, however, such as gender oriented blogs and academic essays on Swedish, hen is somewhat more common. A comparison with alternative gender-neutral expressions is presented, based on different functions of hen, both generic and referentially specific types. Two functions unique to hen are distinguished, cross-gender specific reference and gender-neutral reference to subjects in scientific studies; with respect to other functions, hen is a stylistically marked alternative.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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