Revision on Language and Gender Theorists :-)

Main key points about all of the theorists covered in AS English Language :-)

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The Dominance Model
~ This is a theory that in mixedsex conversations, men are more likely to interrupt than
~ It was recorded by Don Zimmerman and Candace West in 1975
~ The conclusion was that men interrupt more as they are dominating or attempting to
dominate the conversation
~ "The problem with this is that you might simply have one very voluble man in the study
which has a disproportionate effect on the total" Geoffrey Beattie (1982)
~ Geoffrey thought that interruptions can also come from other sources, like enthusiasm,
involvement and interest it shows that they are listening
~ Dale Spender said there is a radical view of language structures that sustain male power,
which are difficult to challenge as the world reinforces male power and superiority
~ She thinks our language is male dominated and they interrupt more, but it's not that
significant ­ it is almost an equal frequency
~ Pamela Fishman argues that it is due to the differences in language and the way that men
~ She questions Robin Lakoff's theory as women are insecure when they are asked
questions, due to curiosity and interest ­ nothing to do with personality weaknesses
~ She says that men also talk more than women
~ Christine Christie has shown gender differences in the pragmatics of public discourse
UK parliament
~ She looked and applied Grice's maxims in the house of commons
Gender and the Media
~ How men and women are represented differently
Sexist language ­ more about women
Marked terms ­ assuming a role to a gender 'policeman'
Generic terms ­ defining a specific gender 'mankind humankind'
Lexical asymmetry ­ 'King and Queen', 'Lord and Lady'
Patronising terms
Syntax ­ order of preference
3rd person pronouns ­ mostly in the masculine form
Diminutive suffixes ­ women are less superior 'ladette'
Address terms ­ 'ms' 'miss' 'mrs' 'mr' 'master'
Semantic fields ­ a group of words with a similar meaning
Robin Lakoff

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In 1990, Deborah argued that there is a contrast between male and female language
However, she was only considering gender, but not the context
Status vs Support Dominance in conversation
Independence vs Intimacy Independence and bonding
Advice vs Understanding Complaint is a challenge to men
Information vs Feelings (Brevity) communicating via phone
Orders vs Proposals Direct imperative and indirect ways
Conflict vs Compromise Not backing down in an argument
~ Male is the norm (male, man, men, mankind) and women are told to change their…read more

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She looked into female conversations
~ She found out that women are more supportive and cooperative
~ Tag questions are used appropriately by women
~ Paralinguistic features/Prosodic features express epistemic modality respect addresses
'face needs'
Deborah Cameron 2007
~ She wrote the book 'Verbal Hygiene'
The way women conduct their speech
You can't compare men and women in our culture
Acceptance of 'proper' speech
Correct grammar and language doesn't exist
Terms like 'sex worker' highlight a more positive aspect of a group or person's identity…read more


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