Gender neutral language in Hindi

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    Gender neutral language

    Hindi has 2 grammatical genders, masculine and feminine, which also manifest in verb conjugation. This is obviously problematic for some nonbinary people who may feel uncomfortable using either grammatical verb conjugation for themselves. There have been 2 solutions proposed to this.

    The first one is to use the male plural/respectful conjugation, as the male plural/respectful conjugation is also used for group of people that consists of multiple genders. Thus, the sentence "I am eating rice", can be said as "मैं चावल खा रहे हूँ" (main chaawal khaa rahe huun, or /mɛ̃ː t͡ʃɑː.ʋəl kʰɑː ɾəɦeː ɦũː/ in IPA) instead of मैं चावल खा रहा हूँ (main chaawal khaa rahaa huun or /mɛ̃ː t͡ʃɑː.ʋəl kʰɑː ɾəɦɑː ɦũː/) or मैं चावल खा रही हूँ (main chaawal khaa rahii huun or /mɛ̃ː t͡ʃɑː.ʋəl kʰɑː ɾəɦiː ɦũː/). This however makes uses of the generic masculine plural, which some nonbinary people might be uncomfortable with.

    The second one is to create an entirely new set of conjugation to accommodate the language for nonbinary people. One way of making the grammar adapt is to use the vowel 'उ' for one nonbinary person when talking in a non-respectful way, and to use the vowel 'ऊ' for multiple nonbinary people or when referring to a nonbinary person in a respectful way. The way that verbs would be conjugated according to this new conjugation would mean that endings like -ता/-ती would become -तु for nonbinary people and endings like -ते/तींं would become -तू for nonbinary people. Likewise, सकता/सकती would become सकतु and सकते/सकतीं become सकतू. This also means that रहा/रही would become रहु and रहे/रहीं becomes रहू. However this can be problematic for people who know Urdu, as Urdu doesn't differentiate between u/ū at the word final position in writing.

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