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On Jun 9, 2004, at 11:06 PM, Emily Zilch wrote:
> Speaking of which, has anyone else read the "Gender Across Languages"
> book I mentioned? It talks about interesting things, like for example
> the penchant of Israeli Hebrew speakers to use masculine forms for
> intimate speech with other women, i.e. their daughters. 'Gender Switch
> in Modern Hebrew', TOBIN Yishai (Ben-Gurion U of the Negev):
> "A particularly interesting aspect of what I refer to with the
> interchangeable terms 'gender switch', 'gender reversal' and/or 'cross
> addressing' in Israeli Hebrew is the following phenomenon: males will
> address close female friends, relatives, associates & partners using
> masculine pronouns and verb morphology as a sign of affection, intimacy
> & solidarity. Furthermore, close female friends, relatives & associates
> will also refer to themselves & others and address each other using
> masculine forms in a similar manner. More often than not, these
> instances of gender reversal are accompanied by a rise in pitch and/or
> an intonation pattern associated with 'baby talk' or other instances of
> affection, intimacy & solidarity. This use... has been recorded in
> literary... as well as spoken Hebrew."

As a non-native Hebrew speaker who hasn't had nearly enough real
conversations with Israelis, that is *really* weird :P .
I do know that masculine verbforms seem to be replacing their feminine
counterparts, though - the future 2nd/3rd-persons feminine plural forms
in |t-...-na| that was drilled into my head by Hebrew teachers in the
USA is just not found at all in contemporary spoken Israeli Hebrew.  I
still use it when necessary, though, even if it makes me sound like
some kind of 'old fart' ;) .


-Stephen (Steg)
  "i know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
   i know that the clubs are weapons of war
   i know that diamonds mean money for this art
   but that's not the shape of my heart"
      ~ 'shape of my heart'