Linguistics experiment

This is a little experiment I’ll be doing for my bilingualism class next week which I thought I’d try out on you first.

Imagine you’re making a cartoon featuring the things listed below as characters. Which ones would you assign a male voice to, and which ones would you assign a female voice to?

1. A rock 2. A tree 3. A river 4. A bear 5. A salmon 6. A boat

Could you also tell us your native language, and whether you speak any other languages fluently? If you do speak other languages, when did you acquire them, do you use them regularly, and would you consider yourself bilingual or multilingual?

This entry was posted in Bilingualism, Language, Linguistics.

61 Responses to Linguistics experiment

  1. 1. A rock – male voice
    2. A tree – male voice
    3. A river – female voice
    4. A bear – male voice
    5. A salmon – male voice
    6. A boat – female voice

    I am a native Italian; I also speak English and Portuguese fairly well, using them on a daily basis at work or with friends in Portugal, where I’m living.

  2. Susie says:

    1. Male
    2. Female
    3. Female
    4. Female
    5. Male
    6. Male

    Native speaker of English.

  3. Karim says:

    1. Male
    2. Female
    3. Female
    4. Male
    5. Male
    6. Female

    Native language: Arabic
    Other languages: French (3 years old), English (9 years old)

  4. Alan Coady says:

    male; female; female; male; female; female

    Native English speaker.

    Fluent in Spanish – begun at age 24 (now 48)
    Confident in French – very vague memories of school French but this may have served me as bedrock for mixing with French people – particularly between ages 25 and 32
    Intermediate in Portuguese – acquired by a mixture of study and bluffing conversion of Spanish around age 30
    Elementary Polish – begun at age 47

    I’d consider myself to be multilingual e.g. some of the above afford me a head start in reading Italian

  5. LandTortoise says:

    1 M
    2 M
    3 F
    4 M
    5 F
    6 F
    English mother tongue, fluent French, very good Spanish.
    English and French used regularly. Do not consider myself bilingual.

  6. Kel says:

    1. male
    2. female
    3. female
    4. male
    5. male
    6. female

    Native English speaker (female, if that makes a difference), proficient in Russian and fluent in French. Grew up bidialectal in British and American English, though now use exclusively American. I use French frequently, though not Russian, and I call myself bilingual to everyday people and monolingual to other linguists, who recognize the fine distinction 🙂 (And if you think there could be an influence… I’ve studied Latin, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish, and Dutch in the past, and am currently studying Old English.)

  7. Franmau says:

    1. A rock male
    2. A tree male
    3. A river male
    4. A bear male
    5. A salmon male
    6. A boat male/female

    Native speaker: Italian
    Fluent: Esperanto, used currently every day since end of 2000
    Fluent: English, studied at school and used currently every day since a year or so (I leave in Scotland :-P)

  8. Franmau says:

    leave –> live
    packing time, so in my mind I am leaving!

  9. Adam says:

    1. Male
    2. Female
    3. Female
    4. Male
    5. Female
    6. Female

    I’m a native Welsh speaker can also speak English as a second language, German and Afrikaans fluently, I also speak a little French,spanish,cornish,irish,polish,zulu,hebrew,scots gaelic,breton,setswana,maori and russian

    I love languages lol .
    It’s amazed me how many people actually have an intrest in learning Cymraeg (Welsh) who aren’t welsh i wonder why ? is there some perculiar reason?>

  10. Momtchil says:

    An interesting experiment:
    1. rock – male
    2. tree – male
    3. river – female
    4. bear – female
    5. salmon – female
    6. boat – male

    Native: Bulgarian
    Fluent: English, Czech
    More or less: All Slavic, German, Latin

  11. neurolux says:

    1. rock – male (strong, hard)
    2. tree – male (strong, hard)
    3. river – female (flowing, like menses)
    4. bear – male (strong)
    5. salmon – male (strong, swims upstream)
    6. boat – female (secure, like womb)

    Native: (American) English

    Fluent: English

    still know basic French from high school, little German

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