Presentation entitled “Feminist interventions in language: a linguistic view”

prof. dr. Nadira Aljović

04/09/2018 09:02
In celebration of National Women's History Month members of the American Studies Association in Bosnia and Herzegovina (ASA in BiH), in cooperation with and hosted by

American Corner Sarajevo, several talks were organized. On Thursday, March 22, 2018, at 3 p.m., Associate Professor Nadira Aljović gave her presentation entitled “Feminist interventions in language: a linguistic view”.


The struggle for women's rights has entered the realm of language use. This talk presented a modern linguistics view of feminist language planning in the context of Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian. Within linguistics, human language is studied as a natural phenomenon exclusively in a descriptive approach. Speakers are equipped with a mental grammar of their native language, and can view any language planning natural or unnatural, sometimes so unusual (to say the least) that they refuse to adopt it in their speech (e.g. govornica(??)/speakerette(??) vs. govornik/speaker, predavačica(??)/lecturess(??) vs. predavač/lecturer). The aim of the talk was to point to some language universals and grammatical properties of BCS which can account for speakers' refusing to adopt certain language planning (arbitrary gender, unmarkedness and markedness of language units, etc.) and due to which, from a linguistic standpoint, language planning may be superfluous and meaningless.


Nadira Aljović is an associate professor of English and linguistics at the University of Zenica.

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