Masculine features of English language

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      Jesperson characterises the English language as positively masculine. He observes that it is the language of a grown up man and has very little feminine or childish or about it. He establishes his thesis with reference to the sound system, endings, monosyllabism, sobriety of expression, etc.

First of all, the sound system of English is very clear and precise. The consonants and vowels are precise and independent of their surroundings and consequently, the language has become more clear-cut and distinct in its phonetic structure.
Masculine English language

      First of all, the sound system of English is very clear and precise. The consonants and vowels are precise and independent of their surroundings and consequently, the language has become more clear-cut and distinct in its phonetic structure. In English language, consonant sounds are very predominant. English has no lack of words ending in two or more consonants in respect of pronunciation, not of the spelling, as for example, prompt, tempt, draught, fraught, wealth, plinth, feast, etc. The Pronunciation of these words requires energy on the part ot the speakers. The pre-dominance of consonant sounds has given English language a sort of male vigour. English has none of those indistinct or half-slurred consonants that abound in Danish. An English consonant is seldom changed by the vowels on either side of it. Tlie vowels are, for the most part independent of the consonants flanking them, and in this respect English has now deviated widely from old English. But the consonant groups were lightened gradually - as for example, in the first ten stanzas of Tennyson's Locksley Hall, there are only thirty-three words ending in two consonants, Thus phonetically speaking, English has male energy but not brutal force.

      Briefness, terseness and conciseness characterise male style. English, from this standpoint, is more masculine than most languages. In grammar it has got rid of a great many superfluities which are found in earlier English as well as the most cognate languages. It has either reduced endings to the shortest forms possible or done away with them. In such sentences as "all the wild animals that live there," all, the article, the adjective, and the relative pronoun are alike incapable ot receiving any mark of the plural number. The sense is expressed with the greatest clearness imaginable. We may also notice business-like shortness in sentences, such as, while fighting in Germany he was taken prisoner, etc. The morphological shortenings are also of much frequent occurrence in English: Cab for Cabriolet; bus for omnibus, photo for photograph, phone for telephone, etc. There are many English proverbs which possess the condensed power of the monosyllabism found in old Chinese. Some of the examples of such monosyllabic proverbs are first come first served; haste makes waste; live and learn.

      English language is characterised by sobriety in expression. This sobriety and restraint are male characteristics. An Englishman dislikes strong or hyperbolical expressions of approval or admiration. "She is rather good-looking", "That is not half bad" are often the highest praises that can be made by an Englishman. English uses far less number of diminutives than other languages. Diminutives like-let, ling, when they do not express intended scorn or satire are used to denote actual smallness of things rather than emotional endearment (fondling endings). The endings like-y,-ie (Billy. Dicky, auntie, birdie) are more used by children or by grown-ups while speaking to children than in ordinary conversations.

      The business-like virile qualities of the English language also manifest themselves in such things as word-order. In English, an auxiliary verb does not stand far from its main verb; an adjective nearly always stands before its noun. English has shown precision and logic in the matter of the difference of tenses. The difference between the past he saw and the composite perfect he has seen is maintained with great consistency. Again, English is tree from grammatical pedantry. Family and clergy are, grammatically speaking, of the singular number; but in reality, they indicate a plurality. Most languages treat such words as singulars, but in English one is free to add a verb in the singular it the idea of unity is essential or to put the verb in the plural if the idea of plurality is predominant. This freedom is also seen in the vocabulary. Every writer is free to make a choice of his words from any source native, or from other languages.

      English language is marked by the enormous richness of vocabulary. It is the characteristic feature of men to choose the exact word with which to render their idea. As a consequence, they are less fluent than women and more halting.

      Thus the English language is methodical, energetic, business-like and sober. It does not care for elegance. It follows logical consistency and is opposed to strict rules of grammar and lexicon.

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