The Unmarked Masculine Gender and the Journalism of the Italian National Community in Slovenia and Croatia


  • Anja Zorman University of Primorska



Italian language, Italian national community in Istria, journalistic language, unmarked masculine gender, names of positions, titles, and professions


In Italy, the language policy promoted by the Italian government has for decades been attempting to change the opaque female representation in positions and professions traditionally held by men. By guiding the use of language, the language policy aims to affect the speakers’ perception of reality and, in the case of professional titles, to contribute to greater equality between the two genders. The present paper investigates to what extent the language of the members of the Italian national community in Slovenia and Croatia, in the context of journalistic information, is susceptible to the use of language and language policies in Italy, concerning the assignment of grammatical gender with reference to female designation. In this regard, research was carried out to analyse journalistic texts produced and intended for the Italian national community in Istria. The results reveal a varied and inconsistent use of grammatical gender, particularly to designate names of positions, titles, and professions, which were, in the past, almost exclusively the domain of men. The comparison with the Italian corpus showed no particular correlations with the usages found in Italian in Istria, with the exception of ministra (‘minister’), where similar values could be observed in the Italian corpus (Zarra 2017) and in the database of Koper Radio and TV. 






Original research paper