Language and Gender

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  • Language and Gender
    • Trugill 1983: Women's pronunciation is closer to received pronunciation than males.
    • Cheshire 1982: Boy's tend to use more non-grammatical forms, like ain't, than girls.
    • Lakoff (Robin) 1975: Women use: hedges & fillers; tag questions; apologetic requests, indirect requests, speak less, use fewer expletives, more intensifiers. She argued that these features of speech makes women seem more inferior, weak and needy and prevents women from being taken seriously.
      • O'Barr and Atkins 1980: Disputed Lakoff, said that it was males and females of low social status who used these linguistic features.
    • Zimmerman and West 1975: Found 96% of interruptions were made by men, suggesting male dominance in conversation.
      • Beattie 1982: Questioned Zimmerman and West's theory that men's interruptions were a sign of dominance. He said it could be to show support and understanding
    • Tanner 1990: Differences not similarities.
      • Men: more concerned with status- interrupt more; gives more direct orders- don't mind conflict; more intensifiers in getting facts and solving problems
      • Women: more interested in bonds- tend to talk less and agree more; more polite indirect orders- to avoid conflict; aim to show understanding by compromising and offering support rather than solutions.
    • Cameron 2007: Argued all theories were biased because they concentrated on the differences between men and women's speech rather than the similarities.
    • Coates: 'Women's talk' falls into four categories.   1) Gossiping.  2) Chatting.      3) House          Talk.            4) Scandal


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