I am currently examining how differing levels of genderisation across languages (French, Finnish, and Norwegian) affects self-perception and the social perception of others through the utilisation of cognitive experiments. As a part of this, I would like to examine how individualistic markers impact on the main effect.

As fully gendered languages (and semi-gendered languages to a lesser degree) utilise gendered forms (normally the masculine) for generic role descriptors I thought it would be prudent to attempt to measure linguistic conservatism to examine the level to which, for example, an individual who was found to believe that men are better suited to generic roles referred to in the masculine form than women was influenced more strongly by linguistic conservativism stating that the masculine form should refer to men compared to the influence of explicit or implicit sexism.

I have been attempting to find such a measure but have had no success thus far; all the scales I have seen for examining linguistic conservativism seem to be designed for literature analysis, and so are not able to be utilised in my research. I am considering utilising specific items from the Instrument to measure Attitudes Towards Sexist/Nonsexist Lanugage that could be considered to indicate linguistic conservativism (e.g. 'we should not change the way that [language] has traditionally been written and spoken'), but was wondering whether there were any specific tools that have been designed for this purpose, or whether anyone knew of any other scales from which items can be selected that suit this purpose more closely?

  • There was already a question on the stability of grammatical gender ie noun classes: linguistics.stackexchange.com/questions/17019/… – Adam Bittlingmayer Jul 8 '16 at 7:01
  • Regarding all the social effects of grammar, this may not be the right forum as it is highly subjective at best and at worst pure pseudoscience. (Languages without grammatical gender: Hungarian, Estonian, Turkish, Armenian, Persian, Tajik, Kazakh, Chinese, Japanese... It is an areal feature, centred on Afghanistan.) – Adam Bittlingmayer Jul 8 '16 at 7:04
  • With all due respect, I am well aware of the fact that there are non-gendered languages, which is why Finnish is under examination. The experiment itself is looking at an example of a fully gendered, a semi-gendered, and a non-gendered language. I am not asking for help in relation to grammatical gender, I was just trying to put my question in context; I would refer you back to the original question, I am looking for a scale that measures linguistic conservativism in a manner that can be incorporated into a cognitive based 'response time and answer chosen' type experiment. – Jonathan Kim Jul 8 '16 at 8:33
  • The scale doesn't need to be in that format, but the main experiment is. – Jonathan Kim Jul 8 '16 at 8:36

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