Linguistic Analysis of the Feminization of Titles of Professions in the French Language As Evidenced in the Press from France, Canada, and Belgium

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Linguistic Analysis of the Feminization of Titles of Professions in the French Language As Evidenced in the Press from France, Canada, and Belgium
BALUTA, CAMELIA ELENA ( Author, Primary )
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Derivational morphology ( jstor )
Document titles ( jstor )
Feminization ( jstor )
Grammatical gender ( jstor )
Language ( jstor )
Legal professionals ( jstor )
Linguistic inflection ( jstor )
Linguistics ( jstor )
Morphemes ( jstor )
Nouns ( jstor )

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University of Florida
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Copyright 2005 by Camelia Elena Baluta


To womenÂ’s rights activists worldwide.


iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I wish to thank the chair of my thesis committee, Dr. Theresa Antes, Dr. Hélène Blondeau and Dr. Héloise Séailles for thei r constant support an d guidance throughout my academic career at the University of Florida. I also wish to thank the rest of the facu lty members in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (French Section) for their help and support throughout my Master of Arts Degree program here at the University of Florida. This thesis is the result of a research study which was inspired by the feminist activists worldwide who have been taking a stand and demanding equal rights for women in all realms: political, social , etc and within language (Fre nch), which is primarily the focus of my research.


v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv ABSTRACT......................................................................................................................v ii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Legal Framework of the Feminization of T itles of Professions in France, Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland.........................................................................................2 Legal Framework of the Feminization of Titles of Professions in France............2 Legal Framework of the Feminization of Titles of Professions in Canada (Quebec).............................................................................................................8 Legal Framework of the Feminization of Titles of Professions in Belgium.......10 Legal Framework of the Feminization of Titles of Professions in Switzerland..11 Conclusion of Analysis...............................................................................................12 2 LINGUISTIC PHENOMENA IN THE FRENCH LANGUAGE RELATIVE TO THE FEMINIZATION OF TI TLES OF PROFESSIONS.........................................13 Methodology...............................................................................................................14 Data Analysis: Linguistic Derivationa l and Non-derivational Phenomena................14 3 COMPARATIVE STUDY BETWEEN THE FEMINIZATION OF TITLES OF PROFESSIONS IN FRANCE, CANADA, AND BELGIUM...................................26 Differences and Similarities.......................................................................................27 Conclusion of Analysis...............................................................................................33 4 GENERAL CONCLUSIONS OF THE STUDY.......................................................35 Limitations of Research Study....................................................................................36 Future Implications for Language Teaching...............................................................37 APPENDIX A LIST OF TERMS USED IN FRANCE......................................................................40 B LIST OF TERMS USED IN BELGIUM....................................................................43


vi C LIST OF TERMS USED IN CANADA (QUEBEC).................................................44 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................46 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................49


vii Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Arts LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS OF THE FEMINI ZATION OF TITLES OF PROFESSIONS IN THE FRENCH LANGUAGE AS EVID ENCED IN THE PRESS FROM FRANCE, CANADA, AND BELIGIUM By Camelia Elena Baluta December 2005 Chair: Theresa Antes Major Department: Romance Languages and Literatures The main scope of this thesis is to analyze how the evolution of the French language is beginning to illustrate the soci al changes that are occurring in the francophone world and which mechanisms it de velops in order to reflect them. This thesis aims to describe, assess and evaluate the linguistic phenomena that are currently occurring in the French language in three francophone countries: France, Belgium, and Canada. First, it presents th e legal questions and framework th at underlie the feminization of titles of professions in the Fr ench language. Second, based on an examination of several newspapers and magazines, it aims to invest igate which terms have been used in the language in the printed press. Subsequently, observations will be formulated as to the linguistic similarities or differences between the aforementioned varieties of French (Belgian, Canadian, etc) related to the topi c of the feminization of titles of professions. Conclusions of the thesis will summarize tendencies and offer guidelines as to which


viii lexical items have been accepted in the Fren ch language as appropriate linguistic forms and which terms still remain to be negotiated in the written or oral discourse in terms of appropriateness for usage. The secondary main scope of this research study is to explore the implications, potential challenges and considerations such linguistic changes may require with regard to teaching French, especial ly at the beginning level.


1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The feminization of lexical items designati ng professions appeared as a linguistic topic of interest thanks to women’s fair ly recent access to professions that were previously held by men only. Thus, with th e advent of women taking up professional roles other than traditional ones in societ y, social changes occu rred and consequently, language evolved in order to accommodate, in both verbal and written discourse, the respective social changes. The English language is probably among the first to have reflected such social changes, at first going through a phase of fe minization of professi ons and later on opting for neutral terms. Thus, terms such as “ waiter ” and “ waitress ” currently tend to be replaced by the more generic and neutral “ waitperson ”, “ steward ” and “ stewardess ” by “ flight attendant ”, “ chairman ” and “ chairwoman ” by “ chair ”. Before developing these neutral and generic forms, in many cases the English language did not have terms to designate all professions that were exercised by females. Therefore, language had to make use of its resources and create them , mainly through means of derivation. Thus, “ waitress ”, “ stewardess ,” and “ chairwoman ” are examples of feminine lexical items, counterparts of masculine terms which we re created by means of derivation and inflection. The primary scope of this thesis is to analyze how the evolution of the French language is beginning to illustrate the social changes that are occurring in the above mentioned countries and which mechanisms it develops in order to reflect them. This


2 thesis aims to describe, assess and evaluate the linguistic phenomena that are currently occurring in the French language in three c ountries (France, Belgium and Canada) based on an examination of several newspapers and magazines from France, Belgium, and Canada, namely: “Le Monde” (France), “Le Fi garo” (France), “Le Nouvel Observateur” (France), “Paris Match” (France), “Le Soir ” (Belgium), “La Presse” (Canada) and “Le Devoir” (Canada). Legal Framework of the Feminization of Ti tles of Professions in France, Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland1 Before embarking upon the presentation of this research study, discussion and description of the legal framework surrounding th e feminization of titles of professions in the French speaking world, some considerations are deemed necessary. For organizational purposes feminization of titles of professions in France will be discussed first. The issue will then be covered in th e other two countries, Canada (Quebec) and Belgium. Legal Framework of the Feminization of Titles of Professions in France “La Commission de féminisa tion des noms de métiers et de fonctions” (the Commission on feminization of professions a nd functions, France), which was active in France between 1984 and 1986, issued a bill pro posal that was handed in for approval to the government by Laurent Fabius. This propos al included recomme ndations concerning the feminine terms that were to be used when designating women ex ercising a particular profession. In response to this proposal th e “Académie française”, 1984 (the French Academy) promptly opposed it by replying that the masculine gender was all inclusive 1 The current study does not aim at analyzing sets of data from the Swiss press. However, it attempts to give a broader perspective on the issue of the femini zation of titles of professions, namely by discussing and describing the legal framework in Switzerland.


3 and had a neutral, non-discrimi natory meaning attached to it. Therefore, the use of a feminine term in lieu of a masculine “all in clusive lexical item” was considered to be unnecessary, impractical and problematic in terms of text drafting and consequently, grammar. In June 1997, four women detaining top-level positions in their departments asked to be addressed by “Madame la ministre”, wh ich gradually became a formula used in all official correspondence of the respectiv e departments (Commission générale de terminologie et de néologie 1998). The French Academy maintained its position on the issue by rejecting the newly create d term, in spite of the fact th at dictionaries such as “Le Robert” and “Le Petit Robert” had accep ted it as a totally legitimate entry. In October 1998, “la Commission générale de terminologie et néologie” released a report which described the current usage of feminine terms de signating professions exercised by women. The primary role of the aforementioned Commission was to formulate recommendations and identify possibl e linguistic solutions to the issue of feminization of titles, based on the evolution of the French language and on other legal and political considerations associated w ith the language. Moreove r, the Commission was to be consulted on all language related issues and its expert opinion was to be taken into consideration by the government and the other legislative bodi es subordinated to it. The bill of law that was passed on August 4, 1994 authorized the Commission to identify and publish its recommendations toward an official terminology, which was to be implemented by all judicial public or private entities which exercise d a public function. Thus, the government was give n the directive to consult wi th the Commission on changes currently occurring within the French language or to allow the respective departmental


4 administrations to evaluate the changes with in the language and subsequent to this, to implement them in their official correspondence. The Commission clearly stated that te rminological studies documenting on-going changes in the French language had reference value and referred to changes within the language occurring at a certain moment in time. Its role was to record the data documenting these linguistic changes and to formulate recommendations based on the existent data. Therefore, the Commission was not to impose any rules or regulations on the language as it was being used by individual s for the reason that enforced linguistic forms were probably not to be accepted into the current language usage. Thus, allowing for a free changing dynamic of the language that would eventua lly dictate language policies was deemed more appropriate in this case. In this respect, the arguments the Commission made were very powerful and ac knowledged the freedom of expression of all individuals and their unr estricted ability to use language. The report of the Commission therefore debated and questione d prescriptive norms on the language and discussed why the feminization of titles of pr ofessions would be necessary in the French language. The main statement put forth by the Commission was th at language should accurately reflect the social changes whic h occur in a society, by allowing names of professions, professional titles or degrees to be particulari zed and take on the feminine form. Thus, the 1998 report released by the Commission made an inquiry in the history of the French language to trace back in tim e the first moment professional titles were created for females as counterpart to the masc uline lexical items. Thus , in its edition from 1932-1935, the Dictionary of the French Academy mentioned, for example, several


5 feminine lexical items relative to professions, such as: “ artisane, attachée, auditrice, aviatrice, avocate, bûcheronne, candidat e, électricienne, employée, factrice, pharmacienne, postière ” and “ chauffeuse ”, the last term being removed from its edition in 1988, due to lack of usage of the term during recent years (Commission générale de terminologie et de néologie 1998). A major argument relative to the difficulty of the task, which was constantly evoked by the Commission in its report, was th e fact that there are no set rules for the creation of feminine nouns and therefor e caution is required in formulating recommendations for future use. This statement alludes to the idiosyncratic nature of the process of linguistic derivation, a process whic h is often arbitrary and displays a certain degree of variation. Likewise, the Commission declared itself to be reluctant to formulate recommendations concerning the use of femini ne forms in official judicial documents which, in its opinion, would contradict the enforced norms and the respect of the republican principle on which French in stitutions were founded. Moreover, the Commission contended along the same lines th at judicial documents needed not be personalized in this manner and that they had to convey a sense of indifference as to the gender of a person. In other words, the te rminology regarding public functions and regulated professions needed no amendments , for reasons of textual coherence and judicial security, according to the Commission. Moreover, the Commission contended in it s 1998 report that th ere were certain constraints within the French language whic h made this linguistic issue problematic, namely the fact that there was no neutral ge nder in the French la nguage, the fact that


6 masculine terms were used in a generic way, and the way the language had evolved throughout the years, making it problema tic to create new feminine terms. The report of the Commission also tack led the issues associated with the implementation of the feminization of titles of professions in judicial documents and thoroughly discussed the implicatio ns this process would entail. According to the Commission, the feminizati on of titles of profe ssions is a current on-going phenomenon in the French language wh ich has to be accepted as valid and as a living manifestation of the continuously evol ving French language, an evolution that could not be prescribed by any institution and which entirely depends on the current language usage of the indi viduals within a society. On the other hand, the Commission prof oundly discouraged any implementation of the feminization of titles of professions in the realm of public pr ofessions (professions réglementées). This is motivated and upheld in light of the judicial principles according to which the rule of non-discriminati on between sexes is to be observed. Thus, no gender reference was to be made to the respective subject exercising a profession, unless it was a prof ession that was exercised by males or females only. The report, however, failed to identify any such pr ofessions. In all other cases, it is deemed discriminatory to make a gender distinc tion, since according to the constitutional principle of equality, all prof essions, titles, and functions ar e equally accessible to both men and women. The neutral character of the formulations therefor e becomes advisable and desirable within public f unctions. According to the Comm ission this prerogative is to be achieved through the use of the “generic masculine”. Another argument the Commission put forth to uphold its position on the issue was the necessity to observe the


7 republican principle, which makes a fundament al distinction between the individual, as such, and his or her function, and between pub lic and private realms. Thus, the function is to be seen as entirely separate and distinct from the i ndividual identity and consequently not incorporati ng personal attributes of the individual. The problematic gender characteristic is viewed as a persona l feature and therefore it is considered peripheral. In this case the generic mascu line was again considered to be the optimal linguistic solution to comply w ith the republican principle. In addition to these arguments, the Commi ssion also alluded to a certain sense of lack of security French institutions might c onvey in their language if the feminization of titles of professions was to be implemente d in judicial documents concerning public functions. The Commission was nevertheless committe d to supporting the feminization of titles of professions in all ot her realms dealing with the pr ivate dimension and contended that a natural linguistic phenomenon which is beginning to manifest itself should be allowed to do so in both written and oral discourse without restri ction or intervention from a governmental body. Following this report, which was delivered to Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, a guide (“Femme, j’écris t on nom: Guide d’aide à la féminisation des noms de métiers, titres, grades et fonc tions”), containing more than 2000 feminized entries in French, was released by the Nationa l Center of Scientific Research and the National Institute of the French language , thus acknowledging recent language changes and offering possible solutions to problematic terms. The guide however, even though it had credible and valid authority in the dom ain, refrained from prescribing rules and mainly provided suggestions and options for lin guistically problematic feminine terms. It


8 is a fact that the attitude of the Commission toward th e feminization of titles of professions in the public domain differs radically from that regarding the private realm. They strike one as being extr emely contradictory, given th at the Commission pledged to act in the interest of the feminization of title s of professions. One can only speculate that its attitude is motivated by reasons of ec onomy and clarity of language in a judicial document, which flatly dismisses the feminiza tion of titles as a principle to act upon. The feminization of titles of professions would eventually entail the feminization of texts as well, therefore one can assume that the Commission wishes to avoid dealing with syntactic aspects (Subjec t/Verb agreement, Noun/Adj ective gender and number agreement) once titles of professions in the feminine enter judicial texts. Legal Framework of the Feminization of Ti tles of Professions in Canada (Quebec) With regard to the feminization of titles of professions, the ”A juste titre: guide de rédaction non-sexiste,” guide, released by the Office of Francophone Affairs Government of Ontario for the first time in 1994, secondly in 1998 and then again in April 2005, claimed that Canada (Quebec) was the first country to have undertaken the feminization of titles and professions and the elimination of sexism in the language. The following paragraphs address th e history behind the feminizati on of titles of professions in Quebec. In 1979 the “Gazette officielle du Québec” published the report of the Quebec French Language Office, which recomme nded that feminine terms be created, implemented and used in all possible cases. Consequently, a linguist ic task force was created which identified possible and acceptabl e feminine terms, as well as terms for which there was no feminine counterpart. The re sults of the work of this committee were published in 1986 under the title “T itres et fonctions au fémini n: essai d’orientation de


9 l’usage” (“Titles and professions in the femi nine gender: usage orie ntation guide”) by the Office of the French Language in Montreal. Within this report, four main recommendations were formulated. usage of a term that was alrea dy present in the language, e.g., “ couturière, infirmière, avocate, ” usage of a feminine determinant with an invariable noun e.g., “ une journaliste, une archit ecte, une ministre, ” creation of a feminine form by m eans of inflection, e.g., “députée, chirurgienne, praticienne, comédie nne, auteure, metteure en scène, professeure, écrivaine,” usage of term “femme” with the re spective masculine noun (a practice which was later abandoned because of the princi ples of parity a nd equality), e.g., femme-magistrat, femme-chef d’entreprise, femme-ingénieur Moreover, the Quebec French Language Office also recommended that texts making reference to both genders should contain the feminine term as well, and not only its masculine counterpart. Examples such as “on consultera une notaire ou un notaire compétent, cette recherche sera menée par la ou le juge, celles et ce ux qui ne pourront se présenter...” are indicative of the implemen tation of these specific recommendations made by the aforementioned institution. Theref ore, feminine terms were specifically reccommended for use in both the public and private realm and the feminization of titles of profession was taken to another level, which is the feminization of texts. These recommendations were taken one step further in the following guide that was published in collaboration with “l’Offi ce de la langue française” (The French Language Department in Quebec) (Bir on 1991), which included more through recommendations and a more in-depth anal ysis of the feminine terms and of the challenges they pose in terms of derivation and usage.


10 In 1998, the Office of Francophone Affair s, in collaboration with “Direction générale de la condition féminine de l’Onta rio” (The Department for Women’s Status from Ontario) released a document (“A juste titre”) which referred both to the feminization of titles of professions and the feminization of texts, a subject which is outside the scope of this thesis. Moreover, in 2003 a second edition of th e complementary guide “La féminisation des titres et du discours au gouvernement de l’Ontario” published for the first time in 1998, was released by the “Service de traducti on de l’Ontario” (Translation Services Department, Ontario) in collaboration with the Department for Women’s Status from Ontario in May 2003 with an updated version of terms to use and an increasing number of feminine lexical entries, among them titles, professions, positions. Legal Framework of the Feminization of Titles of Professions in Belgium On August 4, 1978, a Belgian bill of law was passed with regard to the use of nondiscriminatory terms toward a gender or anothe r, a law which is to be obeyed through the use of the generic masculine followed by the H/F indication: e.g., "directeur des ventes H/F.” On June 21, 1993, another bill of law (Décret du 21 juin 1993 relatif à la féminisation des noms de métier, fonction, grade ou titre) was passed concerning the feminization of titles of professions. According to the latter, feminine terms must be used in designating women exercising professions or titles in all writt en documents, thus reversing the order given by the first law. “Le Conseil supérieur de la langue française” (the Supr eme Council of the French Language in Belgium) led by Marc Wilmet consequently published a guide on the feminization of titles of professions in 1994 (“ Mettre au féminin: Guide de féminisation des noms de métier, fonction, grade ou titre ”) which became the reference document for


11 all subsequent written usage. The recomm endations of the Council (Wilmet 1994) were similar in many respects to those proposed by the Quebec French Language Office. inflection of a feminine noun by adding the ending “e” e.g., “ une apprentie, une artisane, une experte, une cuistote , une croupière, une lieutenante, une pompière, une consule, une jardiniè re, une aspirante, une colonelle ,” use of derivation patterns, such as “ eur-euse ,” “ teur-trice, ” etc. e.g., “ une carreleuse, une contrôleuse, une acheteuse, une rapporteuse, ” use of a feminine determinant with an invariable noun, and respectively inflection e.g., “ une comptable, une ministre, une chef, une écrivain, une mannequin, une marin, une médecin, une proviseur, une quartier-maître ” Syntactic rules were subsequently enfor ced and all attributes were to obey the Noun/Adjective agreement rule, thus the femi nization of titles of professions became more and more visible in writt en and oral discourse alike. Legal Framework of the Feminization of Titles of Professions in Switzerland In Switzerland2, a bill of law passed by the City of Geneva (Canton de Genève), in 1988 required all administrative offices to implement the feminization of titles of professions with a view to eliminating the ex istent sexism. Thus, the tendency in judicial texts from Switzerland was to use both forms, masculine and feminine, in all documents: e.g., “ les instituteurs et les institutrices ” , or, where possible, to promote the usage of a neutral noun, which does not directly impl y one gender over the other, e.g., “ le corps enseignant ” instead of “ les enseignant(e)s. ” The subsequent dicti onaries of professions, titles and functions released in 1990, 1991 and 1996 incorporate both masculine and feminine terms and, specifically for Switzer land more feminine terms ending in “esse,” e.g, “ doctoresse ,” “ prêtresse ,” “ suissesse ”. 2 The present study does not include nor analyze any data from Switzerland, the purpose of the inserted section being that of providing the reader with a broader perspective on the issue of feminization of professions and its legal framework.


12 Conclusion of Analysis Given this rather complex legal framewor k of the feminization of professions, the extent of the legal debate and the variations as to how it has been implemented into the language throughout the French-speaking world, this thesis acknowledges the controversial nature of the i ssue to be analyzed, discusse d and evaluated. Variation is undoubtedly present at all le vels, legal framework and linguistics. Moreover, the problematic nature of the issue is directly linked to the idiosync ratic feature of the derivation processes. Therefore, it is difficu lt, if not impossible to accurately predict how language will evolve eventually, which derived feminine forms will prevail, or even whether a feminine form will be developed eventually. It is an equally daunting task for language researchers and linguist s to formulate a set of rule s concerning derivation. This may as well pose issues in the realm of teachi ng French, especially at the beginning level. Therefore, the main purpose of this thesis is to offer a broade r understanding of the concept of the feminization of titles of prof essions, of how the pro cess started and how it has evolved so far. The second scope of this th esis is to assess and interpret the existing data in major French, Belgium and French-C anadian newspapers and magazines and to discuss the implications of the feminization of professions for future classroom teaching. After the assessment, interpretation and discussion of the findings, the conclusions of the study will summarize the main features of the derivational processes, provide a general framework for the issue, in vestigate implications in teaching French, and also discuss the limitations of the study and the research study questions which may arise from this intellectual undertaking and c onsequently, may need further investigation and documentation.


13 CHAPTER 2 LINGUISTIC PHENOMENA IN THE FRENCH LANGUAGE RELATIVE TO THE FEMINIZATION OF TITLES OF PROFESSIONS The following chapter will introduce, analy ze and discuss the main derivational and non-derivational means of the feminization of tit les of professions in the French language as evidenced in the selected corpus of data , without particularizing findings for a certain region or country. This secondary aspect wi ll be explored more in-depth from a comparative perspective in Chapter 3. The pur pose of this chapter is purely descriptive, therefore, it aims to present its findings w ithout assuming or suggesting that they are representative of all the French, Be lgian or Canadian (Quebec) press. The data for the study were collected over a period of two months (June – July 2005) from several major newspapers and ma gazines in France, Belgium and Canada: “Le Monde” (France) (FLM), “Le Figaro” (F rance) (FLF), “Le Nouvel Observateur” (France) (FNO), “Paris Match” (France) (FPM ), “Le Soir” (Belgium) (BLS), “La Presse” (Canada: Quebec) (QLP) and “Le De voir” (Canada: Quebec) (QLD). The selection of these materials was base d on the following general criteria: most representative of the French, Belgian, a nd Canadian (Quebec) press, most popular (among the most often read), most accessi ble newspapers in terms of quality of information and last but not least the abil ity to display opposed cultural and political biases within the print press.


14 Methodology Before embarking upon an analysis of th e data, an explanation of the methodology is necessary. The corpus of data was selected from articles, news and press releases about current events from the aforementioned news papers and magazines and also job posting pages, the latter fairly nume rous in all the newspapers that were consulted and, sometimes, found even in magazines, alt hough in a considerably smaller number. The scope of the methodology was to id entify the terms designating females exercising professions and to record their occurrences, along with their context, for subsequent linguistic analysis. The mo tivation underlying the above-mentioned methodology stems from the researcherÂ’s persp ective on the current study. Articles, news and press releases were selected as valuable sources for data collection, given the fact that they illustrate current language use in written discourse. The second source for the data collecti on, namely the job posting pages, were envisaged as a viable methodological opti on, given the possibility to collect large amounts of data from a fairly limited numb er of pages. The study aims to take a contrastive look at these two se ts of data and parallel to that, to project a comparative perspective on the data from each country, an aspect which will be further developed in Chapter 3. Data Analysis: Linguistic Derivatio nal and Non-derivational Phenomena Before embarking upon the linguistic data analysis per se, a few theoretical considerations are necessary in order to provide the discussion background for the collected sets of data. Since this chapter is mainly concerned with analysis of derivational and non-derivational phenomena in the data , inflection, derivation and compounding will be briefly revisited.


15 According to Bybee, there are three main types of linguistic expression: lexical, inflectional and syntactic. Le xical expression is defined (B ybee 1985) as the possibility to combine two or more semantic elements in a single monomorphemic lexical item. For example, the lexical item “ mourir ” at some level of analysis combines the semantic elements of “ tuer ” and “ causer. ” In inflectional expression, each semantic element is expressed in an individual unit, but these units are bound into a single word. Thus, inflectional expression may be in the form of a ffixes added to a stem, or in the form of a change in the stem itself (Bybee 1985). More over, an inflectiona l category must be combinable with any stem with the proper syntactic and semantic features, yielding a predictable meaning, e.g., the French imperfect tense, “ travaillais. ” In syntactic expression, Byb ee notes that, the different semantic elements are expressed by totally separable and independent units. Thus “ come to know ” is the syntactic expression of “ inchoative ” and “ know ”, while “ realize ” is the lexical expression of the same notions. Derivational expression is defined as lying in between lexical and inflectional expression. Thus, it resembles lexical expression in that derivational morphemes are often restricted in applicabil ity and are idiosyncratic in formation or meaning. It also resembles inflectional expre ssion in that two distinct morphemes are combined in a single word. The determinants of the inflectional expression were identified as follows: relevance and generality. Relevance (Bybee 1985) refers to a meaning element being important to another meaning element if the se mantic content of the first directly affects or modifies the semantic content of the s econd. If two meaning elements are, by their content, highly relevant to one another, then it is predicted that they may have either


16 lexical or inflectional expr ession. The second factor that needs to be taken into consideration in determining what can be an inflectional catego ry is lexical generality. By definition, an inflectional category must be ap plicable to all stem s of the appropriate semantic and syntactic category and must oblig atorily occur in the appropriate syntactic context. In light of these theoretical consid erations, several derivational and nonderivational means of feminization of titles of professions were identified in the collected data. Thus inflection, derivation by affixati on, and compounding were identified as the main linguistic phenomena underlying the i ssue of the feminization of titles of professions in the French language. Each phenomenon will be further discussed and developed with examples taken from the data. First, inflection is identified base d on three main criteria (Bybee 1985): boundedness, obligatoriness and predictability of meaning to be conveyed. Boundedness refers to the notion of the bound morpheme, wh ich is defined as “inseparable from the stem, and /or occurring in a fixed order conti guous to the stem, or with only closed class items intervening between it and the stem .” (Bybee 1985, p 27). Second, an inflectional category is obligatorily marked every time a st em category to which it applies appears in a finite clause. According to the third criter ion, if the grammar lists different meanings of the combinations with different stems, then the category is not inflectional. In light of this theoretical backgr ound, a first linguistic phenomenon to be identified within the data is inflection. T hus, a feminine term is formed by adding a feminine determinant (a definite or indefin ite article, qualifying adjective, pronominal adjective, etc.) to a masculine term ending in the vowel “e”. The feminine gender marker


17 is present in the extra gramma tical item preceding or following the noun. In this case the form of the feminine term will be iden tical to its masculin e counterpart e.g., “ une artiste aussi intègre ” (France, Le Nouvel Observateur), “ l’ancienne ministre des Affaires Etrangères ” (France, Le Monde), “ une jeune journaliste ” (FLM), “ une spécialiste en Affaires Etrangères ”(FLM), “ une séparatiste ”(FLM), “ la protagoniste de cet épisode ”(France, Le Figaro), “ une psychologue ” (France, Paris-Match), “ une interprète ” (FPM), “ une touriste ”(FNO), “ une économiste ”(NO), “ une analyste ” (Quebec, Le Devoir), “ une jeune artiste ” (FLM), “ une architecte ” (FLM), “ une comptable ” (FNO), “ la communiste Marie-George Buffet ” (FLM), “ cette jeune artiste de 29 ans ” (FNO), “ une architecte ” (FLM), “ une comptable ” (FLM), “ une responsable logistique gestionnaire ” (FNO), “ une juriste d’entreprise ” (FLF), “ une géologue de production ” (FLF), “ fiscaliste confirmée ”(QLD), “ des pilotes et une psychologue “ (FPM), “ la nouvelle secrétaire de M. Duras ” (FNO). Moreover, terms such as “ extrémiste ,” “ terroriste ,” “ premier ministre ,” exclusively referred to males in the past and consequently did not display such contextual occurrence elements, except for “ premier ministre ” whose counterpart was identified in the feminine term “ première ministre ” (QLD). The term “ première ministre ” is a very interesting and rare case. It was found only once in the da ta, namely in “Le Devoir” and it may be considered at the same time a compound noun displaying inflection, as a means of creation of feminine terms. The noun “ première ministre ” may be considered to be an “avant–garde” type of example, as its mascu line counterpart no longer is considered an indissoluble compound noun, but instead, can now be broken down into its components and customized to the feminine gender. One might speculate that the respective journalist


18 might have used “ une premier ministre ” and not have considered “ première ministre ” as a viable option from the very beginning. These nouns have the same linguistic and phonological shape, therefore they need to be accompanied by either a feminine or masculine determinant, in order to render the idea of a female or male exercising the im plied position or having the suggested quality. In the French language litera ture on this grammatical subj ect, these nouns are known as “épicènes,” which means they can accept either gender. Th e classical example of an “épicène” given in the classr oom setting is usually: “ un enfant ,” “ une enfant ”. However, not all terms which end in final vowel “e” have the same form in the feminine. An example is “ maire ” which results in “ mairesse ,” by means of deri vation with the suffix “esse,” “ maître ” which results in “ maîtresse ,” a category of nouns which will be expanded with examples from the present research study. Compounding is another linguistic phenomenon that was identified in the collected data. It has been defined as the creation of morphologically complex words which cannot subsequently be analyzed as consisting of a stem or root plus a ffixes, but rather as containing more than one stem or root (Bybee 1985). Compounding is distinct from all other combinatory processes of language in th at it has the characteri stics of both syntactic and lexical expression (Bybee 1985) . It resembles syntactic ex pression in that the units combined also exist independently as wo rds, that is, they are complete both phonologically and semantically. It also resemb les lexical expression in that the resulting unit is a single word, and the meaning of this word is not predictable from a summation of the meaning of its parts.


19 Even though the present research did not display many examples of compound nouns, one pattern was identified, namely (Ver b + Noun) in the following example e.g., “ porte-parole ”: “une porte-parole de la Ma ison Blanche” (FLF) which may be linguistically considered a two fold process: compounding as a first step and inflection as the final one, since the feminine gender marker is inherent in the inde finite article “une,” which is added to the original masculine form of the term. In relation to gender in the French la nguage, Corbett cites the work of Bidot (1925), Melcuk (1958) and Tucker, Lambert a nd Rigault (1977) who documented that there were phonological and morphological ge nder assignment rules which 84.5% of the nouns were following. However, there are cases where no single prediction as to gender can be made since, for example, nouns endi ng in /e/ are almost equally likely to be masculine or feminine (Corbett 1991). Given th is consideration, one can speculate that in the above mentioned examples ( “ ministre, ” “ artiste ,” “ économiste ,” “ architecte,” “touriste ,” etc.) the French language drew upon its internal linguistic resources and opted to add a feminine determinant to the noun its elf in order to create a feminine term, counterpart to an alread y existent masculine one. Another linguistic phenomenon that is obs erved in the data is derivation by affixation. In this case one can speak about a derivational means of forming the feminine counterpart of a masculine term, which is namely derivation by suffixation and respectively prefixation. Before analyzing this phenomenon, a fe w theoretical consid erations on how to distinguish between derivation and inflection are deemed necessary here. While linguists seem to have an intuitive understanding of the distincti on, Bybee argues that the most


20 successful criterion in distinguishing betw een the two is obligatoriness, which was applied to the definition of de rivation and inflection by Gree nberg. This criterion states that obligatory categories force certain c hoices upon the speaker. Thus, derivational morphemes are not obligatory in this sense. They are morphemes which, in construction with a root morpheme, establish a sequence which may always be substituted for some particular class of single morpheme in all instances, without produc ing a change in the construction. The inflectional morpheme, on the other hand, is a bound non-root morpheme whose appearance in a particul ar position is compulsory. Therefore, inflectional morphemes are required by the s yntax of the sentence, a statement put forward not only by Bybee (1985) but also by other linguists, such as Matthews (1974) and Anderson (1982). Moreover, other li nguists, among them Kurylowicz (1964), propose that derivational processes create new lexical items, wh ereas inflectional processes do not. Moreover, (Booij 2005) derivation may feed inflection generally, whereas inflection very seldom will feed de rivation. Bloomfield (1933) and Nida (1946) affirm that derivational morphemes occur closer to the root than inflectional morphemes. Therefore, it may be said that derivation applies to the stem form of the words, without their inflectional endings and creates new, more complex stems to which inflectional rules can be applied (Aronoff and Fudeman 2005). It is also a common observation (Nida, 1946) that a language has more deriva tional morphemes than inflectional ones and this is also backed by GreenbergÂ’s finding th at the existence of inflection in a language implies the existence of deriva tion (Greenberg 1963). Finally, a frequently cited criterion is that derivational morphemes may change th e syntactic category of the resulting word, while inflectional morphemes never do. However, according to Bybee (1985), none of


21 these previous criteria, except perhaps the obligatoriness criteri on, actually provides a discrete division between derivational and infl ectional processes. Therefore, it is most important to keep in mind that derivation is not compulsory, however inflection is, since it is the expression of morpho-syntactic prope rties of lexemes and each word must be specified for the relevant inflectional pr operties of its word class (Bybee 1985). Thus, the masculine terms that end in a vow el different than “e muet” will add the the feminine gender marker “e,” which may be c onsidered in this case to be solely an inflectional morpheme in order to fo rm its feminine counterpart e.g., “ ami(e) .“ Here are some examples illustrating the above analysis e.g., “ une chargée de mission ” (FLM), “ une déléguée ” (FLM), “ une présidente ” (FNO), “ une vice-présidente ”(FNO), “ une diplômée ” (FNO), “ une agrégée de sciences physiques ” (QLD), “ une licencieé ès lettres ” (QLD), “ une licenciée ès sciences ” (QLD), “ une attachée technique commerciale ” (QLD), “la soldate Hutson Niberley” (FLF)3. However, the term “député” has been found in two different forms, in flected and uninflected, e.g., “ Elle a été élue député de Metz en 1998” (FLM) and “l a députée Cruchot a mentionné ....” (QLD). There are cases where inflection is not onl y distinguishable in writing but also in pronunciation, such as with “ soldate ,” “ présidente, ” and “ enseignante ,” where the final consonant “t” is pronounced, whereas the femini ne nouns in final “e muet” have the same pronunciation as their masculine counterparts. Going beyond the linguistic analysis and taki ng into account social factors, terms in this category which may be qualified as re latively new to the journalistic vocabulary referring to females include: “ présidente ” in the context of “ présidente du developpement 3 For a complete list of the encountered terms, cat egorized according to each of the above-mentioned countries, cf. Appendix A, B and C.


22 industriel de la Picardie ” (FLF), and ” soldate ” in the context of “ la soldate Hutson Niberley et son mari ” (FNO). The term “ enseignante ” may not be categorized as a new term, however, given its rather long history of usage: “ témoigne Nina, une enseignante de 55 ans ” (QLD). The reasons one may put forth such an interpretation are that women have only fairly recently had access to positions such as, e.g., “ présidente ” and “ soldate,” whereas “ enseignante ” is a more traditional occupation of women, who for centuries have been dedicated to traditiona l roles of nurturing and education. It is important to notice that the term “ soldate ” refers to an American woman (“ la soldate Hutson Niberley ”) who embraced the once “men-only” military career, a social change that has occurred in very few countri es. From a linguistic po int of view, it is an interesting example which illustrates very cl early language as an evolving entity and language accommodating current ongoing social changes. The third major derivational phenomenon th at has been observed in the current evolution of the French language is deriva tion by analogy, combined with inflection as a secondary but equally important phenomenon, as means of creation of feminine terms. Examples such as, e.g., “ pharmacien ”—“ pharmacienne ,” “ comédien ”—“ comédienne ,” “ mécanicien ”—“ mécanicienne ,” “ champion ”—“ championne ,” “ informaticien ”— “ informaticienne ,” illustrate this. Although terms such as “ mécanicienne ” and “ informaticienne ” are not as frequent as others, th ey are documented and listed as valid entries in any current French dictionary. Th e common element of these examples is the double consonant, a derivational morpheme, fo llowed by the “e muet,” the feminine gender marker.


23 Another type of derivation by analogy combin ed with inflection that is occurring in the French language is illustra ted by the following pairs: “ pionnier ”—“ pionnière ,” “ trésorier ”—“ trésorière ,” “ conseiller ”—“ conseillère ,” a derivation pattern that is analogous to the older “ couturier ”—“ couturière ,” “ boulanger ”—“ boulangère ” pairs. Contexts such as “ Mme Charaud, pionnière du journalisme ” (FLF), “ elle était la conseillère du Ministre alle mand des Affaires Etrangères ” (FNO), “ Mme Soulange, trésorière de la Cour des Comptes ” (FNO) provide vivid examples of some of the above terms being used in specific contexts. Yet another type of derivation by analogy co mbined with inflection is illustrated by the following pairs, e.g., “ acteur ”—“ actrice ,” “ directeur d’agence ”—“ directrice d’agence ,” “ animateur ”—“ animatrice ,” “ consommateur ”—“ consommatrice ,” “ producteur ”—“ productrice ,” “ réalisateur ”—“ réalisatrice ,” “ fondateur ”—“ fondatrice ,” “ lecteur ”—“ lectrice ,” whereby the suffix “ trice ” becomes specific for the feminine given that the root of the verb does not include consonants “t” or “d”. “ Teur ” — “ trice ” has always been a productive pair in terms of derivation. However, even though we have the terms “ éditeur ,” “ auteur ,” and “ docteur ”4 the French language does not accept the terms “ éditrice ,” “ autrice ,” or “ doctrice ”. Moreover, the term “ inspecteur ” has resulted in “ inspectrice ”, which has been encountered in jour nalistic language even though the root of the term includes the consonant “t.” “ Recteur ” has resulted in “ rectrice ”, a form that was solely encountered in the Quebec newspaper “La Presse”. A few examples accompanied by contexts will illustrate the derivation types listed above: “ Maryline Bellieud-Vigouroux, fondatrice et présidente de l’Institut de Mode 4 Chapter 3 explores in-depth the variation of thes e terms in various franco phone countries: France, Belgium, and Canada


24 Méditerrannée ” (FLF), “ Daria a pour mission de séduire la consommatrice volage de 20 ans ” (FPM), “ J’ai envie de devenir actrice ” (FPM), “ la réalisatrice Ruba Nada, née à Montréal d’une famille d’origin e syrienne installée à Toronto ” (FLD), “ Et si l’Afghanistan, productrice de 87 % de l’opium mondial ....” (FLD). Another pattern of derivation that was en countered in the data is represented by “ eur ” – “ euse ,” e.g., “ chanteur ”—“ chanteuse ,” “ vendeur ”—“ vendeuse ,” “ serveur ”— “ serveuse ,” “ acheteur ”—“ acheteuse ,” examples which have a long history in the French vocabulary and illustrate deri vation by suffixation and inflecti on as means of creation of feminine terms. Following this pattern of de rivation combined with inflection, the fairly new terms that have entered the French la nguage, as illustrated by this study are the following: “ chasseuse ,” “ killeuse ,” “ golfeuse ,” “ joueuse, ” e.g., “ la chasseuse solitaire ” (FPM), “ une killeuse à la recherche d’une nouvelle boîte ” (FPM), “ une golfeuse ” (FPM), “ la plus jeune joue use de l’histoire ” (FPM). It is to be noted that even though some of them are not French terms (“ killeuse ,” “ golfeuse ”) but rather were borrowed from English, they still follow the general rules of inflection developed by the French language. The pair “ prêtre ”—“ prêtresse ” is a classic example of derivation by analogy with “ maître ”—“ maîtresse ,” “ maire ”—“ mairesse ” and “ demandeur ”—“ demanderesse ,” or “ défendeur ”—“ défenderesse .” The pair “docteur ”—“ doctoresse ” has had an interesting evolution pattern as well. “ Doctoresse ” has gradually fallen out of usage, while “ docteure ” is currently preferred e.g., “ docteure ès lettres ,” “ docteure ès sciences ,” namely because “ doctoresse ” tended to refer to the doctor’s wife and not to a female exercising the profession.


25 However, the term “ prêtresse ” is used in alternation w ith the previously rejected construction, “ femme prêtre ” when referring to females ex ercising this profession, as shown by the following example: “ Elle devient la première femme prêtre ordonnée en France. Neuf femmes devraient alors être fait es prêtres ou diacres. Mais qu’importe les foudres épiscopales, la nouvelle «prêtre sse» hors la loi ne s’arrêtera pas là ”. (Meskens J, p. 2). One can speculate that given the old connotation of terms such as “ doctoresse ,” or “ mairesse ” that designated the wives of thos e males who were exercising these professions, there is still ne gotiation about which term should be accepted as a viable option in the language. Therefore, when the journalist mentions the term “ prêtresse ,” he does it by using quotes. However, since priests did not marry, the term “ prêtresse ” seems to have difficulty in imposing itself thanks to its lack of usage. Therefore, for the moment it is “ femme prêtre ” that prevails, a very interesti ng compound noun and at the same time not very productive, since forms such as “ femme médecin ” gradually became obsolete in speech. The French language also has terms that ha ve resisted feminization in spite of the fact that they may refer particularly to women or that they originally referred solely to women, e.g., “ mannequin, ” and “ chef, “ which are relatively new terms to come into the language: “ les grands mannequins font sou vent de piètres comédiennes ” (FPM).


26 CHAPTER 3 COMPARATIVE STUDY BETWEEN THE FEMINIZATION OF TITLES OF PROFESSIONS IN FRANCE, CANADA, AND BELGIUM According to my research on the lega l framework, there are both differences between and similarities among the ways each country defined the feminization of titles of professions and derived the rules by whic h one must abide. These differences may have been determined by cultural, geographical and/or political reasons. For example, the proximity between France and Belgium may be invoked as a reason fo r the existence of more similarities between these two varietie s of French. Canada (Quebec), on the other hand, tends to be the most permissive in term s of language creation of feminine terms and one might speculate that this language change has been occurring with the very powerful feminist movement in the 1970s in Quebec. In 1979 the “Gazette officielle du Quebec” published the report of the Quebec French Language Office, which recomme nded that feminine terms be created, implemented and used in all possible cases. Th e report also comprised general guidelines and recommendations concerning the creation of feminine terms. A tool to use when in difficulty or doubt about what is and what is not acceptable in the French language with regard to the feminization of titles of professi ons (“Titres et fonctions au féminin: essai d’orientation de l’usage” 1986) guides have proven to be the result of extensive resercah undergone by committees appointed in each of the above mentioned countries. Thus, (Wilmet 1994), the “Conseil supéri eur de la langue française” (Supreme Council of the French Language) published a guide on the feminization of professions


27 (Guide de féminisation des noms de métier, fonction, grade ou titre), which became the reference document for all subsequent writte n use. The recommendations of the Belgian Council are similar in many respects to t hose proposed by the Quebec French Language Office. Last but not least, in France a similar guide entitled “Femme, j’écris ton nom: Guide d’aide à la féminisation des noms de mé tiers, titres, grades et functions” containing more than 2000 feminized entries in French was released in 1999 by the National Center of Scientific Research and the National Instit ute of the French Language as a response to the legislation concerning the usage and impl ementation of feminine terms in the realm of titles and professions. For organizational purposes I will first pr esent the differences between ways the issue of the feminization of titles of professions was realized in France, Canada and Belgium. Differences and Similarities The provisions for the formation of the feminine for terms that end in –“eur” are different in France, Belgium and Canada, re spectively. Thus, while the Canadian guide advocates forms such as, “ une docteure / doctoresse, une i ngénieure, une procureure, une professeure, une auteure, une gouverneu r e, ” the Belgian guide provides for feminization in the determinant only, for example “ une docteur, une professeur, une ingénieur, une procureur ”. The French guide mentions both of these solutions without making a clear recommendation. Regarding the term “ doctoresse ,” both the French and the Belgian guide mention it. However, while the first notes its lack of f unctionality, the second mentions in a side note that it is supposed to designate the spouse of a doctor and not a female exercising the


28 profession. This research study identif ied one instance where the term “ doctoresse ” has appeared, but in a more of a poe tic than scientific context: “ Imaginez un monde où de jeunes doctoresses s’annoncent au bruit ronr onnant d’une Triumphe verte rutillante ” (FNO). The term “ auteure ” has been found in several cont exts in the Quebec press, among them “ Nicole Carrier, l’auteure et présiden te de l’arrondissement de Brossard ”. However, it was only found once in the press from France in the form of “auteur” in “ Marylise Lebranchu, auteur du livre ” (FLM), which suggests that France still preserves the uninflected masculine form, although the Fren ch guide does not privilege either of the two forms, mentioning them both as viable options. One could al so speculate that “ auteur ” might be an epicene noun in the French spoken in France while in the French spoken in Canada (Quebec) it is a noun that takes on the inflected form for the feminine, which is “ auteure .” The term “ écrivaine ” was found only in the Canadian press, such as in “ un fil surprenant relie les dix nouvelle s qui composent le recueil “L a blessure” de l’ écrivaine néerlandaise Anna Enquist.... ” (QLD). The term “ ingénieure ” is again problematic. In the Canadian press it is found quite regularly: ” Mme Beatrice Rigaud, ingénieure de contrôle ” (QLD). In the French press, however, it is always mentioned in the uninf lected noun form and followed by a feminine adjective: “ ingénieur commercial(e) ” (FLF) or “ jeune ingénieur de projet h/f ” (FLF) which indicates the prevalence of the mascu line term, even though it is followed by the h/f segment. Another observation to make is that in the above-mentioned cases, the


29 specified noun isn’t specifically referring to a male or fema le but it actually allows for either interpretation. The term “ gouverneure ” was found only in the Canadian press in several contexts, among which “ la gouverneure générale du Canada, Adrienne Clarkson a été admise ....” (QLD). The term “ ministre ” and “ première ministre ” present an unequal situation in the above-mentioned countries. While the term “ ministre ” is found all thr oughout the French and the Canadian press accompanied by a fe minine determinant, such as in “ l’ancienne ministre des Affaires Etrangères ” (FLM) or “ la Ministre du tourisme, Françoise Gauthier ” (QLD) or “ la ministre haitienne de l’in formation et de la culture (QLD), the term “ première ministre ” was found only in the Canadian press: “ Pauline Marois, une première ministre pour le Québec ” (QLD). It is interesting to note that pairs of terms such as “ directeur ”—“ directrice ”, coexist along with “ directeur ” in the job posting section: “ directeur de la valorisation et des partenaires industriels ” (FNO), “ directeur général ” (FNO), “ directeur des ventes nationales ” (FNO), “ directeur du département management ” (FNO), and “ directeur administratif et financier h/f ”, “ directeur de filiale de France ” (FLF), “ directeur recherche et developpement h/f ” (FLF). The h/f is not, however, mentioned in the French guide as a suggestion to take into consideration for th e feminization of titles of professions. The term has a slightly different pattern of occurrence in the Quebec press where it alternates with the pair “ directeur ”—“ directrice ” and not with the addition of h/f: “ premier directeur des comptes ou première directrice des comptes ” (QLP). On the other


30 hand, one remarks many occurrences of the term in its masculine form: “ directeur, marketing électronique .” The pair of terms “ coordinateur ”—“ coordinatrice ” has a similar pattern of occurrence. Thus, one finds “ coordinateur(-trice) technique du projet Quadripartite d’appui à la justice en Haiti ” (FNO), “ coordinateur technique h/f ” (FLF) and “ coordinateur (-trice) d’activités de soins ” (QLD). This linguistic variation within major newspapers throughout the same country (Fra nce) shows how idiosyncratic the overall phenomenon of the feminization of titles of professions is. Terms such as “ inspecteur ,” “ superviseur ,” “ collaborateur ” and “ contrôleur ” with their presupposed feminine counterparts “ inspecteure ,” “ superviseuse ,” “ collaboratrice ” and “ contrôleure ” are found only in their masculine forms all throughout the job advertisemen t sections in the press. The term “ chef ,” however, seems to be have a constant form throughout the printed press in all the three countries this st udy investigated. It is encountered both with the mention of h/f and without it, though. Ho wever, there is no other variation with regard to its form. Thus, its two occurrences are “ chef des ventes h/f ” (FLF), “ chef d’équipe espaces verts ” (FNO) and “ chef de division ” (QLP). Terms such as “ chargé ”—“ chargée ” display a pattern of variation in their occurrence as well and even within th e same publication and country. Thus, “ chargé(e) d’affaires ” (FLF) alternates with “ chargés de client èle particuliers ” (FLF) and “ un(e) chargé(e) de mission ”. The same pattern is encountered with “ attaché ”—“ attachée ”: “ attaché commercial ” (FLF) and “ attachés commerciaux h/f ”(FLF) within the same publication as well.


31 Terms such as “ conseiller ”—“ conseillère ” allow for variation as well. Thus, the generic “ conseillers de clie ntèle professionnels ” (FLF) alternates with “ conseiller h/f ” (FNO), in French publications. The Quebec French pair “ conseiller(ère) ” remains invariable throughout the press examined here. The pair “ assistant ”—“ assistante ” is found in a number of display patterns as well. Thus, “ assistants commerciaux ” (FLF) alternates with “ un(e) assistant(e) de responsable réseaux ” (FLF) and “ assistant(e) de programme ” (QLD). The terms “ représentant ,” “ agent ,” “ gérant ” and “ adjoint ” display a lot of variation as well, and even with in the same publication. Thus, “ adjoint au chef cusinier ” (QLP) coexists with “ adjoint(e) au directeur ” (QLP). The term “ chasseur ” is found in the context of “ chasseur de têtes ” (FNO). Even though the term “ chasseuse ” has been attested in th e journalistic language: (“ Alors Emma, la chasseuse solitaire au coeur en bern e va se debattre en direct entre sa vie privée de tout ....” (FPM)), it is not present in th e job advertisement section. One can speculate that if the profession was male-o riented, meaning that females only recently gained access to it, then it was most likely th at the feminine form was not to be included in the advertisement. Thus , one may speculate that “ chasseur ” designates an occupation held by men only for centuries. It is important to observe that there is not only variation between the feminization of the titles of professions acro ss these three countries, but also within them. Therefore, it is interesting to note the differences that ex ist between typologies of presentation of these job advertisements. In the French press, th e “generic masculine” pl ural is found in cooccurrence with the generic masculine plural followed by h/f or simply the generic


32 masculine singular followed or not by h/f or the feminine—masculine term pairs. Thus, one encounters, within the same publicati on, in the same job advertisement section, “ collaborateurs audit et expertise, ” “ experts techniques h/f, ” “ contrôlleur de gestion industriel, ” and “ directeur (trice) d’agence ” (FLF). “Le Monde” displays much less of the presence of the h/f segment and incorporates more feminine forms than “Le Fi garo”, especially in the job advertisement section. Thus “ directeur ”—“ directrice ” are found in eight occu rrences in “Le Monde”, whereas in “Le Figaro” they ar e only found in two instances; “ coordinateur(trice) ” follows the same pattern, with four occurren ces in FLM and only one , “coordinateur h/f” in FLF. Forms such as “ attaché(e) commercial(e) ” or “ chargée des comptes ” are more frequent in “Le Monde” as opposed to “L e Figaro”, which alternatively uses “ chargé(e) d’affaires ” and “ chargés de clientèle particuliers ”. A possible explanation of this imbalance within the two major French news papers may be given by their political and cultural bias, which is liberal in the case of th e first, and conservative with regard to the latter. The Quebec press has an equally rich variety when advertising for positions. Thus, “ représentants aux ventes ” co-occurs with “ enseignants ou enseignantes ,” “ directeur ou directrice en environnement ,” “ professeure ou profe sseur en rédaction française ,” “ vice-président associé, ” along with “ technicien(ne) principal(e) en informatique ”. Summing up this organizational display issue, one remarks that there is an alternation of the generic masculine plural with the generic mascu line singular and the double pair (masculine and feminine) in both pl ural and singular, in reversed orders: feminine form followed by masculine counterpart term or vice versa. Moreover, there is


33 also variation in terms of how the inflection is displayed: “ directeur ou directrice en environnement ” (QLD) alternates with “ directeur (trice) de la gestion des Baux ” (QLD). One can only speculate the reasons for why th is is occurring in the press, which is rather inconsistent with its styles. First of all, there are professions in which men are superior in number to women, which could e xplain to a certain exte nt why there are job advertisements such as “ directeur ou directeure des ventes ”, where the masculine term is listed first and “ professeure ou professeur en communication et marketing ” where the pattern is reversed. One may also speculate that this type of display can also be indicative of any preferences based on gender the employe r might have and at the same time the type of person an employer is looking for. Another speculation one can put forth is that split noun forms, with inflection between parentheses are present for reasons of economy of space in the press. However, this practice is in disagreement with the recommendations and guide lines provided in the “Titres et fonctions au féminin: essai d’orie ntation de l’usage” a guide released by the Québec French Language Office, which opts no t only for the feminization of terms, but also for the feminization of texts and subse quently consider agreement, thus totally complying with the law on non-discrimination based on gender. However, one must also consider the issue of whether such recomme ndations apply to job advertisements, where the advertisers are constrained by factors su ch as price by word and economy of space. Conclusion of Analysis The conclusion of this chapter brings us b ack to the one that was stated in Chapter 2. The variation patterns, not onl y in terms of the way information is being displayed but also, and mostly so, in terms of the feminizati on of terms, support the idiosyncratic nature of this phenomenon, which may be said to be arbitrary to a certain extent.


34 As researchers, we cannot refrain from obs erving that there is variation not only across the feminization of titles of professions in the three aforementioned countries, but also within the same country, especially in the realm of job postings. Moreover, as to the display of job advertisements, there is not only variation within the same country, but also within the same pub lication (“Le Figaro”). Therefore, it is very difficult, if not impo ssible, to make valid predictions about the evolution of feminine terms or about whic h forms will prevail in the end and become enshrined in everyday language use. It is an equally daunting task to pred ict the format that will prevail in job advertisements or if there will be one that gains more acceptance and eventually becomes a standard. These are difficult questions that arise from this study and that need to be further investigated by future research in re trospective studies, which may offer a broader understanding of what will prevail in terms of lexical items and patterns of display of job advertisements.


35 CHAPTER 4 GENERAL CONCLUSIONS OF THE STUDY As illustrated and evidenced in the present research, the feminization of titles of professions is a current linguistic phenome non occurring in several major newspapers and magazines from France, Belgium and Cana da. As documented in Chapter 3, there are both distinctive differences but also similari ties between the ways each country defines its legal framework, as well as between forms of the terms which are preferred in current usage. Another evident, yet important, remark is that the phenomenon of the feminization of titles of professions is rarely consistent, thus displaying a fair degree of idiosyncrasy, thanks to the variety of derivational and infl ectional processes which play a critical role in the formation of feminine terms. Moreover, (la Commission générale de terminologie et néologie 1998) the evolution of the French language cannot be tyrannically mainstreamed by any rules. Nonetheless, guides regarding suggestions fo r this phenomenon were published in order to provide solutions for problematic terms wh ich had more or less resisted feminization. As shown by the examples provided in Chap ter 3 masculine terms are still used in reference to females exercising professions. Th is shows a lack of consistency within the language used by journalist, which may be interpreted as an attribute of the ongoing linguistic change. Moreover, the idiosyncratic nature of the derivation processes makes it almost impossible for a set of strict rules to emerge in the creation of feminine nouns. In addition


36 to this remark, all three guides of usage for feminine titles of professions from France, Belgium and Canada are not meant to provi de any prescriptive, normative rules, but rather recommendations in terms of which fe minine terms should prevail in the current usage. Moreover, the variation of the format of presentation of job advertisements is also indicative of the idiosyncratic and highly pe rsonal nature of this linguistic phenomenon and speaks to the transitory state it finds itself in. Limitations of Research Study Given the present linguistic subj ect, this study investigates a set of data collected at a certain moment in time, and namely June and July of 2005, therefore, it is not a longitudinal study. As evidenced on the basis of the collected data, there is a great deal of variation among terms, and one can only speculate that usage will ultimately select and decide which terms will qualify as valid if there happen to be two forms that are equally frequent and refer to the same lexical item. One can only predict that as society cha nges, so does language. A change in the mentality of a given society, and conseque ntly a change in language, requires an extensive amount of time to occur. I am theref ore, of the opinion that it is too soon to predict which terms will be preferred or whet her feminization will be uniform, given the current limitations of this research study. However, these may be plausible research questions for a potential re searcher who might choose to replicate this study longitudinally. Another limitation was provided by the ne ws content of the newspapers and magazines which were consulted. The pr int media focused extensively on the international events which occurred during the summer of 2005, ther efore materials were


37 were not extremely rich in wo men and women’s issues covera ge, thanks to the every-day news agenda. Consequently, the corpus of data is not extensive, but rather drastically limited, and therefore fails to include other frequently used terms. Future Implications for Language Teaching A language that has many varieties, such as French, tends to pose specific problems for teachers. Generally, they are confronted with the question of whether they should teach all the forms that pertain to all the different varieties of the language. With gender being so differently realized and so problematic, a teacher is faced with the challenge of havi ng to explain the derivational mechanisms for each francophone country if they want their students to be knowledgeable in all the varieties of French. At the same time, however, it will overload the student with information regarding gender and the way it is realized, especially if the respective term has a different feminine form in each of the aforementioned countries. Consequently, the information overload may have a negative effect on the student, who will have difficulties in processing the information and being able to identify each feminine form acceptable for use in each of the countries. Therefore, a systematic presentation of the feminization of titles of professions may be more profitable and accessible for students and teachers alike. General guidelines as to how gender is realized and namely how the feminine gender is reflected or derive d in each of the above-menti oned countries will attempt to familiarize the student with the general tendencies in the French language. With fairly recently feminine derived nouns, such as “ auteure ,” “ professeure ,” “ docteure ,” the teacher might mention that while the Canadian variety of the French language prefers the feminine ending in “ eure ”, the Belgian variety opts in stead for the insertion of a


38 determinant that would ultimately inculcate the feminine gender. The French spoken in France will prefer the Belgian variant, howev er the very famous guide “Femme, j’écris ton nom” (1999) gives both “ une professeur ” and “ une professeure ” as perfectly acceptable options in written discourse in the printed press. Therefore, introducing these concepts and presenting all these varieties mi ght not be the right thing to do especially when teaching at the beginning French level because of the level of difficulty and the wealth of information regarding gender. Another challenge is posed by the ever-evolving nature of the feminization of titles of professions. This is a linguistic proce ss that has shown an incredible amount of variation and idiosyncrasy, ther efore it is difficult, if not impossible, to come up with rules to follow. Therefore, we, as teachers, need to educate our students to think outside and beyond those guidelines and to recogni ze the importance of language change. Gender is not only a grammatical issue but also a cultural one. One can speculate that Quebec, as a result of the feminist movement that occurred in the 1970s, has developed more rapidly a terminology that di rectly designates females exercising titles and professions as opposed to Belgium and France where the language has only relatively recently begun to reflect the current social cha nges occurring in their societies. Therefore, culture is also to be considered when discussing gender and feminization of titles of professions in the classroom setting. Last but not least, teachers need to be engaged in keep ing abreast of the evolution of the French language and to be prepar ed to understand the mechanisms behind linguistic change. Language has numerous res ources and its producti ons may or may not enter the current usage based on users’ re sponse. The present st udy has shown several


39 instances where a more “avant-garde” deriva tion took place even though it was based on an analogy. Terms such as “ golfeuse ” (FPM) and “ killeuse ” (FPM), which are both foreign, were derived according to French grammar rules and a ssimilated into the vocabulary as French terms. Given the extent of the phenomenon, its id iosyncratic nature a nd its direct social, linguistic, cultural and pedagogical implications , this thesis acknowledges the need for future studies that need to a ddress the same issue. The topi c of the feminization of titles of professions is far from being exhausted a nd promises to remain a problematic issue for the years to come and also one with a great deal of potential for fu ture researchers, not only in linguistics, but al so in social sciences.


40 APPENDIX A LIST OF TERMS USED IN FRANCE No 18782 June 14, 2005: Le Monde No 18787 June 19/20, 2005: Le Monde No 18823 July 31/August 1, 2005: Le Monde Agrégée de Sciences Physiques Agrégée de Sciences Naturelles Agrégée de Droit Publique Agrégée de Lettres classiques Agrégée d’Histoire Chargé(e) d’affaires Chargé(e)de clientèle particuliers Comédienne Directeur (trice) des ventes Directeur (trice) des opérations Inspectrice d’académie Une Ex-garde Une journaliste Une ministre Pionnière Présidente Une porte-parole Une spécialiste Trésorière Trésorière adjointe Diplômée de l’IEP de Paris Vice-présidente No 18929 June 14, 2005: Le Figaro No 18940 June 27, 2005: Le Figaro No 18969 July 31, 2005: Le Figaro Un(e) assistant(e) de responsable réseaux Attaché Commercial h/f Collaborateurs audit et expertise h/f


41 Contrôleur de gestion industriel Contrôleur financier Directeur général h/f Directeur administratif et financier h/f Directeur comptable h/f Directeur de filiale France h/f Directeur recherche et developpement h/f Directeur technique h/f Directeur des ventes h/f Directeur (trice) d’agence Ingénieur de projet h/f Une journaliste Responsable optimisation et gestion locative h/f Responsable du service communication h/f Responsable commercial marketing h/f Responsable technique des programmes immobiliers h/f Responsable logistique gestionnaire h/f No 2123 July 14/July 20, 2005: Le Nouvel Observateur Une artiste Chargée de mission Conseiller h/f Coordonnateur (trice) technique du projet Quadripartite Créatrice Couturière Doctoresse Une fiscaliste confirmée Fondatrice Une juriste Présidente Soldate Une styliste No 2931 July 21/July 27, 2005: Paris-Match Actrice Championne Chasseuse Comédienne Consommatrice Une journaliste Killeuse Une psychologue


42 Une psychiatre Enseignante Présidente Golfeuse Joueuse


43 APPENDIX B LIST OF TERMS USED IN BELGIUM No 154, July 4, 2005: Le Soir Une diacre Prêtresse Femme prêtre Présidente Une ministre Chirurgienne La communiste Directrice d’école secondaire Créatrice Paysagiste Ministre de l’Enseignement et de l’Education Economiste Interprète Touriste


44 APPENDIX C LIST OF TERMS USED IN CANADA (QUEBEC) No 152 Vol. XCVI July 9/10, 2005: Le Devoir No 158 Vol. XCVI July 16/17, 2005: Le Devoir Auteure Ecrivaine Gouverneure La journaliste Première Ministre Une Chef Directeur (trice) en environnement Conseillère Secrétaire Générale Ambassadrice Une psychologue Enseignante Vice-rectrice Réalisatrice Une porte-parole Une Economiste Une Analyste Vice-principal exécutive Consommatrice Rectrice No 252 July 9, 2005: La Presse No 259 July 16, 2005: La Presse Adjointe au directeur Coordinateur (-trice) Consommatrice Productrice Infirmier(ères) – chefs d’unité de soins Professeure en Commun ication et Marketing Professeure en rédaction française Psychologue


45 Biologiste Technicien (ne) principal(e) en informatique Technicien (ne) de travaux pratiques Conseiller(ère) en orientation Agent(e) de gestion en Sa nté et Sécurité du Travail Première Directrice des Comptes Représentant(e) des Comptes Gérant(e) d’atelier Aviseur(e) Technique Aviseur(e) aux pièces Coordonnatrice adjointe Ingénieure-Chimiste Inspectrice d’académie Docteure en Droit Docteure en Pharmacie Docteure ès Sciences de l’Education Diplômée


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49 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Camelia Elena Baluta graduated from the University of Bucharest, Romania, in July 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Inte rpretation, Translation and Terminology (French – English section). Her decision to go to graduate school and specialize further in translation and interpretation was motivated by the prospect of the European Union and her passion for foreign language study. Therefore, in July 2002, she graduated from the same university with a Master of Arts in the same field. In July 2003, she star ted to prepare herself for the challenging experience of a study abroad program in Canada or the United States . She did a one year specialization in Canadian Cultu ral Studies at the University of Bucharest, Romania, in order to keep alive her passion for French a nd English, make the best of the university resources and also learn Italian, German and Swedish. In 2003, she was admitted to the University of Florida, seeking a Master of Arts in French, and also seeking a concentration in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and Public Relations. Thus, she will have graduated with a Master of Arts from the University of Florida, Gainesville , Florida upon completion of her program requirements. She aspires to pursue a career in international business and public relations.