Language and Gender Theorists

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  • Language and Gender Theorists
    • Robin Lakoff 1975
      • influential account of women's language which claims that women:
        • use (super)polite forms
        • hedge
        • use tag questions ("you're going to dinner, aren't you?")
        • use empty adjectives ("lovely")
        • use direct quotation
        • have a special lexicon
        • use question intonation for declaratives
        • speak less frequently
        • overuse qualifiers
        • apologise more
        • avoid coarse language or expletives
        • use indirect commands
        • use more intensifiers ("I am so gland you came!")
        • lack a sense of humour
    • Zimmerman and West 1975
      • theory that men are more likely to interrupt in mixed-sex conversations than women
        • fairly old small study done at California University found that in 11 conversations between men and women, men used 46 interruptions whereas women used 2
          • criticised by Beattie who said that there might have simply been one very chatty man or that interruptions do not necessarily mean dominance
            • found that women and men interrupted with more or less equal frequency
    • Beattie
      • found that women and men interrupted with more or less equal frequency
    • Pamela Fishman 1983
      • conversation between the sexes sometimes fails, not because of anything inherent in the way women talk but because of how men respond or don't respond
    • Deborah Tannen
      • male and female language consists of six main contrasts, where the male characteristics come first:
        • status vs support
        • independence vs intimacy
        • advice vs understanding
        • information vs feelings
        • orders vs proposals
        • conflict vs comprimise
    • Deborah Cameron
      • women have been instructed in the proper ways of speech just as they have been instructed in the proper ways of dressing
      • "verbal hygiene"
    • Peter Trudgill
      • subjects were grouped by social class and sex and invited to speak in a variety of situations before he asked them to read out a passage containing words ending in "ing" that could be shortened to "in-"
        • found that women were more likely to use the prestige pronunciation of certain speech sounds
    • Jennifer Coates
      • said that all-women conversation can fall into one of four categories
        • house talk
        • scandal
        • bitching
        • chatting

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