Posted by R. Berg on January 05, 2003
In Reply to: Why ships and cars are "she"? posted by Roman Korolenko on January 05, 2003
: I'm a young researcher interested in the topic of gender and language. I know that in English the pronoun "she" could be referred to ships and cars. The conceptual analysis of the she-category brought me an unusual idea about the she-reference.
: The analysis showed that there are at least six cognitive metaphors in the conceptual system that make us believe ships are feminine:
1. SHIP IS PREGANANT WOMAN
: 2. SHIP IS ATTRACTIVE WOMAN
: 3. BAPTIZM OF SHIP IS BAPTIZM OF HUMAN BEING
: 4. DECOMISSIONING OF SHIP IS DEATH
: 5. SHIP'S BODY IS HUMAN BODY
: 6. SHIP'S MOVEMENTS ARE BODY MOVEMENTS
: The most prominent one is the first metaphor that can also be traced in cars. Ships, cars and women are "containers" that carry a load in themselves and finaly deliver it. Also ships and mothers secure the life of the load. The load is viewed as something precious.
: These results of the analysis are so unusual that I want to put them on the agenda here looking forward to hearing your opinion.
: Roman Korolenko
We tossed this one around a bit. See discussion at link below (http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/10/messages/142.html).