Von „Studierenden“, „Mitarbeiter*innen“ und „Professoren“ – Geschlechtergerechte Personenbezeichnungen zwischen Varianz und Normierung

  • Christine Ivanov
  • Stephanie Lieboldt


Gender-fair language has been a controversial and topical issue in Germany for over 50 years, both in public and in the professional discourse of German linguistics. In this article, two contiguous studies of gender-fair language at German universities are presented. In the first part, university guidelines for gender-fair language usage are subjected to a content analysis. In the second part, linguistic practice in the area of person reference is studied using a corpus compiled from a range of text types used in the internal and external communication of universities. The relation between the existing variance of language use and institutional attempts at standardization of gender-fair language are examined. In the two studies presented, the interplay between theory and practice becomes evident: There are tensions between theories motivating the options presented for gender-fair language and the goals formulated in university guidelines clash with the observable variation in language use. This work contributes to the current dialog on compulsory regulations on gender-fair language by providing data from writing practice while shedding light on ongoing processes of language change.

Ivanov, C., & Lieboldt, S. (2023). Von „Studierenden“, „Mitarbeiter*innen“ und „Professoren“ – Geschlechtergerechte Personenbezeichnungen zwischen Varianz und Normierung. Linguistik Online, 122(4), 31–65. https://doi.org/10.13092/lo.122.10198