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Language Variation Theorists
LANGUAGE AND GENDER



Deficit Model-Men's language is the standard and women's is deficient
(inadequate)
Robin Lakoff (1975)
Characteristics of Women's Language:

Hedges/Fillers- using phrases like `sort of', `kind of' etc.
Superpolite forms ­ `would you mind?', `I'd appreciate it if...', basically being very polite
Tag Questions (explained…

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O'Barr and Atkins (1982)
Data taken from transcripts at an American Court room
Language Change was more important within the situation, rather than gender alone
Emphasis on social standing rather than gender
Male and Female witnesses who were of low social status and/or inexperienced with the
courtroom practises both showed…

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Beattie (1982) ­ study similar to Zimmerman and West's but records 10 hours of data. Men
and women interrupted with roughly equal frequency. Argued that interruption can be
supportive.


Difference Model - Men and women are inherently different, but one is
not subordinate to the other
Deborah Tannen (1990)
There…

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Sympathy Problem Solving
Rapport Report
Listening Lecturing
Private Public
Connection Status
Supportive Oppositional
Intimacy Independence


Interuptions and overlapping
o Tannen argues that there is a difference between interruptions and overlapping.
Interruption isn't simply making a sound as another speaks ­ they may be
supportive and affirming, which Tannen calls co-operative…

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