British Pronoun Use, Prescription, and Processing

Linguistic and Social Influences Affecting ‘They’ and ‘He’

  • Laura Louise Paterson

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Laura Louise Paterson
    Pages 1-8
  3. Laura Louise Paterson
    Pages 9-44
  4. Laura Louise Paterson
    Pages 45-75
  5. Laura Louise Paterson
    Pages 76-112
  6. Laura Louise Paterson
    Pages 113-142
  7. Laura Louise Paterson
    Pages 143-167
  8. Laura Louise Paterson
    Pages 168-173
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 174-192

About this book


This study considers the use of they and he for generic reference in post-2000 written British English. The analysis is framed by a consideration of language-internal factors, such as syntactic agreement, and language-external factors, which include traditional grammatical prescriptivism and the language reforms resulting from second-wave feminism.


Grammar socio-linguistics epicene pronouns he they BE06 Corpus feminism second-wave feminism gender studies English history history of literature language pronouns reform reforms syntactic tradition

Authors and affiliations

  • Laura Louise Paterson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of HullUK
  2. 2.University of LiverpoolUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2014
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave Language & Linguistics Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-46186-8
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-33273-8
  • About this book