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A genderless language is a natural or constructed language that has no distinctions of grammatical gender—that is, no categories requiring morphological agreement between nouns and associated pronouns, adjectives, articles, or verbs.
The notion of a genderless language is distinct from that of gender neutrality or gender-neutral language, which is wording that does not presuppose a particular natural gender. A discourse in a grammatically genderless language is not necessarily gender-neutral, although genderless languages exclude many possibilities for reinforcement of gender-related stereotypes, as they still include words with gender-specific meanings (such as "son" and "daughter"), and may include gender distinctions among pronouns (such as "he" and "she").
Tagalog, like most Austronesian languages, is gender-neutral. The third-person pronoun siya is used for both "he" and "she", as well as "it" in the context of being a neuter gender. Native nouns also feature this characteristic, normally with the addition of lalaki ("male") or babae ("female") to the noun to signify gender in terms such as anak na lalaki ("son") or babaeng kambing ("she-goat").
However, because Tagalog has had over three centuries of Spanish influence, gender is usually differentiated in certain Spanish loanwords by way of the suffixes -a (feminine) and -o (masculine). These words mostly refer to ethnicities, occupations, and family. Some examples are: Pilipina/Pilipino (Filipina/o) and their derivative nicknames Pinay/Pinoy, tindera/tindero (vendor), inhinyera/inhinyero (engineer), tita/tito (aunt/uncle), manang/manong (elder sister/brother), and lola/lolo (grandmother/grandfather). A few gender-differentiating pairs originate from Chinese, mostly relating to kinship terminology such as ate (big sister) and kuya (big brother).
English lacks grammatical gender, but can be considered to have a pronominal gender system with semantic gender represented in the pronouns. This system of gender is quite minimal compared to languages with grammatical gender.
Historically, "he" referred to a generic person whose gender is unspecified in formal language, but the gender-neutral singular they has long been common in informal language, and is becoming increasingly so in formal language. The use of the neuter pronoun 'it' is most commonly used in reference to non-personified objects and animals rather than for people.
Persian is commonly considered a genderless language, but can be considered to have a pronominal gender system with common and neuter genders represented in the pronouns. For both males and females, the same nouns, pronouns, and adjectives are used. For example,
The Basque language is largely gender-free. Most nouns have no gender, though there are different words for females and males in some cases (ama, "mother"; aita, "father"; guraso, "parent"). Some words are differentiated according to gender, like in the English language (aktoresa, "actress"; aktore, "act+or"), but they are not the main rule. For animals, there are particles (oil+o, "hen"; oil+ar, "cock"; hartz eme, "female bear"; hartz arra, "male bear") or different words (behi, "cow"; zezen, "bull").
While there are no gender-specific pronouns, in some dialects, Basque verbs can agree allocutively with the gender in the intimate singular second person (This is a mark of solidarity, providing no information since the listeners already know their genders.): hik dun, "you (female) have it"; hik duk, "you (male) have it". The verb is marked for addressee's gender, if they are intimate singular, whether or not they are referred to in the clause. In earlier stages, the relation between hik and zuk was like that of you and thou in early modern English. Most Baque speakers already avoid hi as too disrespectful, and its use has been diminishing. In practice, the hika forms are more frequent when addressing males than females. A perception developed that associates hika to spontaneity, peasantness, directness, values linked to Basque rural males, while the formal forms are used by women. It has been explained as a consequence of the rural exodus of Basque peasants. Men would become workers in a factory with other men from their town. Females would become maids, waitresses, shop clerks where informal Basque would be felt improper. When institutions have tried to nuance closeness in their public communications, the male forms have been chosen.
Estonian is another genderless language, and doesn't have gendered pronouns. For example, in Estonian language, a man and a woman are both referred as 'Ta'. Moreover, for both males and females, the same nouns, pronouns, and adjectives are used.
Turkish is a gender-neutral language, like most other Turkic languages. Nouns have a generic form and this generic form is used for both males and females. For example, doktor (doctor), eczacı (pharmacist), mühendis (engineer) etc. Very few words for person reference contain a clue to the gender of the referred person, such as anne/baba "mother/father", kız/oğlan "girl/boy", hanım/bey "lady/sir". The third person singular pronoun "o" refers to "he", "she" and "it".
At the same time research has shown a significant presence of semantically-implied gender (covert gender) in Turkish. In addition to the absence of semantic gender neutrality it was also noted that the usage of gender markings in Turkish is asymmetrical. In translations of sentences from English texts where the gender is evident (e.g., usage of he/she or male vs. female context) it was noticed that feminine gender was marked in 50% of cases, while masculine was marked only in 5% of cases. While translations are not typically representative of linguistic data, similar asymmetry was also observed in Turkish literary and newspaper texts.
Yoruba is a Volta–Niger language spoken in Nigeria, referred to by its native speakers as Ede Yoruba. Yoruba is a gender neutral language. Gendered pronouns such as he or she do not exist in Yoruba language. Gendered pairs like brother/sister or son/daughter also do not exist. Instead, the most important organizing category is age. E.g., siblings are classified by whether they are égbǫn (older sibling) or aburo (younger sibling). In order to say brother, one would need to say "aburo mi okunrin" (this roughly translates to "my younger sibling, the male").
Swahili is a Bantu language spoken in many parts of Africa such as Kenya and Tanzania. It is largely gender neutral in specific nouns. Words such as actor/actress (mwigaji wa hadithi) and waiter/waitress (mtumishi mezani) are gender neutral among most others in the language. The words he, him, she, her translate to a single word in Swahili, yeye.
There are gender specific words for man/woman (mwanamume/mwanamke) and mother/father (mama/baba), so it is not completely gender neutral, although a vast majority of the words do not distinguish between male or female. The language does not have a grammatical gender either.
Sinitic languages (or topolects) are largely gender-neutral. Chinese has no inflections for gender, tense, or case, so comprehension is almost wholly dependent on word order. There are also very few, if any, derivational inflections; instead, the language relies heavily on compounding to create new words. A Chinese word is thus inherently gender-neutral, and any given word can be preceded by an morpheme indicating masculinity or femininity. For example, the word for "doctor" is yīshēng (Traditional: 醫生, Simplified: 医生). To specify the gender of the doctor, the speaker can add the morpheme for "male" or "female" to the front of it. Thus, to specify a male doctor, one would prefix nán 男 (male), as in nányīshēng (男醫生/男医生); to specify a female doctor, one would prefix nǚ 女 (female), as in nǚyīshēng (女醫生/女医生). Under normal circumstances, both male and female doctors would simply be referred to as yīshēng (醫生/医生).
Spoken Mandarin Chinese also has only one third-person singular pronoun, tā for all referents. Tā can mean "he" (also "He" for deities, written differently), "she", or "it". However, the different meanings of tā are written with different characters: "他", containing the human radical "亻", from "人", meaning person, for he or a person of undetermined gender; "她", containing the feminine radical "女", for "she"; and "它" for "it"; "祂" containing the spirit radical "礻", from "示", for deities; "牠" containing the cow radical "牜", from "牛", for animals.
The character for "she", containing the "woman" radical (glyphic element of a character's composition), was invented in the early twentieth century due to western influence; prior to this, the character indicating "he" today was used for both genders: it contains the "person" radical, which, as noted above, is not gender-specific.
In written Cantonese, the third-person singular pronoun is keui5, written as 佢; it may refer to people of either gender because Chinese does not have gender roles as English in third-person pronouns. The practice of replacing the "亻" radical with "女" (forming the character 姖) to specifically indicate the female gender may also be seen occasionally in informal writing; however, this is neither widely accepted nor grammatically or semantically required, and the character 姖 has a separate meaning in standard Chinese.