that was my initial response, but then i had to stop and think...it was sort of a linguistic necker cube!
Yea I almost did that myself till I saw the very last word. I guess we should be careful and read the whole sentence :P
I wrote "it is not a girl, but a boy", to avoid the illogical sentence "she is not a girl", and I read that it's accepted and my sentence is refused? Oh my God, people can be weird!! To respect the fact that there is only ONE word (Ő) in Hungarian, my translation chooses as well only ONE word in English! Disambiguation is avoided as well my way!
English has an animate/inanimate distinction. "It" is inanimate and can't refer to people. "What" can't describe people when it functions as a pronoun. ("I'd like to meet what you're marrying").
(Adjectival "what" is okay, though. "Show me what men you are." This use is less common now.)
Using it/what to refer to people is generally very rude, not just a grammar error.
Hm... well, I think "it" should be accepted here. Sometimes when a couple is expecting a child and they do not know the child's sex yet, the couple refers to the expected child as "it".
"What are you expecting? Is it a boy or a girl?"
"We were expecting a girl. As it turned out, it is not a girl, but a boy"
I can imagine this confusion occurs quite frequently in Hungarian conversation.
This is just like the various Chinese languages. People understand through context, and there are other ways to indicate which person one is speaking about (e.g., that man, this woman, that child, these people). I haven't actually taken a count, but I think it's mostly the Indo-European languages that have a gender distinction for third person.
Afro-Asiatic and Dravidian languages also have gendered nouns. I think there are a fair number of languages with gender only on the pronouns too.
This isn't really a sentence that people us in real life. Surely there's a better example?
Well, if you're talking about someone who has a non-conventional gender identity, you can use it.