Lexicon Valley: How grammatical gender changes our thinking, and how English lost its genders.

Lexicon Valley: How did English lose its grammatical genders?

Lexicon Valley: How did English lose its grammatical genders?

A show about the mysteries of English.
May 7 2012 1:13 PM

How English Lost Its Genders

Listen to Slate’s show about how a simple quirk of grammar may affect the way we think.

Lexicon Valley has moved! Find new episodes here.


Listen to Lexicon Valley Episode No. 9: And May He Be a Masculine Bridge.

Does talking about an object as masculine or feminine somehow cause us to think of it that way? In the second part of a Lexicon Valley series about language and gender, Bob Garfield and I discuss the fascinating research by Stanford psychologist Lera Boroditsky involving grammar and perception. We talk also about what may have happened to grammatical gender in English. That’s right, once upon a time we had grammatical gender too. But then we lost it.

You'll find every Lexicon Valley episode at slate.com/lexiconvalley, or in the player below:

Send your thoughts about the show to slatelexiconvalley@gmail.com.