AS English Language

Language and Gender- Lakoff


Women use features such as:

  • Hedges- 'sort of' 'kind of'
  • Super polite forms- 'would you mind if?'
  • Tag Questions- "you're going to dinner aren't you?"
  • Empty adjectives- Lovely, Gorgeous, Adorable
  • Special Lexicon- Wider range of vocabulary for things e.g colours
  • Imperatives- "Why dont you?"
  • Indirect demands- "Isn't it cold in here?" meaning turn the heating down
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Language and Gender- Zimmerman and West

Zimmerman and West

In mixed-sex conversations men are more likely to interupt than women. Research carried out by Zimmerman and West found that out of 11 conversations between men and women men interrupted 46 times while women did only 2 times. This shows that men are more likely to dominate the coversations and/or interrupt.

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Language and Gender- Tannen


Tannen found 6 key differences between male speech and female speech:-

                                                  MALE                 FEMALE

Staus VS support

Independance VS Intimacy

Advice VS Understanding 

Information VS Feelings

Orders VS Proposals

Conflict VS Compromise

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There are 8 main word classes

1)Nouns- Naming Words

2)Adjectives- Describe Nouns 

3)Verbs- Doing Words

5) Pronouns- Take the place of nouns

6)Conjunctions- Connecting words such as- 'and' 'but'

7)Prepositions- Define relationships in term of space, time and direction

8)Determiners- Specific info about a noun- a, the, to, few

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Nouns are naming words, there are several different types of nouns.

  • Proper nouns- specific people, places, brands
  • Common/Concrete nouns- Can physically touch/see
  • Abstract nouns- Concepts, states emotions
  • Collective nouns- Groups of animals, people or things

Nouns can be singular or plural- Bird/Birds and can be modified to give more information.

  • Pre-modifiers- Come before the noun for example: dangerous animal
  • Post-modifiers- Come after the noun for example: Exam in progress
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Adjectives help to describe nouns. The adjective can be before or after the noun to desribe it and where it is placed will depend on which kind of adjective it is- Attribute or Predictive

  • Attribute adjectives- pre-modifying- (word used before the noun to help describe it) happy, dangerous
  • Predicitve adjectives- post-modifying (word used after the noun to help describe it) progress

There are also other types of adjectives:

  • Comparative adjectives- Generally formed by adding 'er' long/long'er'
  • Superlative adjectives- Generally formed by adding 'est' long/long'est'
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A verb is a doing word, there can be several types of verbs.

  • Main verbs- Identify the action of a sentence "He gave me his shoe"
  • Auxillary verbs- go before the main verb in a sentence

1) primary auxillaries- do, have, be  

2) modal auxillaries- can, could, will

  • Active voice- suject is focus
  • Passive voice- Less direct but does still focus on subject

ADVERBS are used to modify meaning such as; manner, place, time, duration. Some can also express feeling e.g hopefully and link sentences together e.g however.

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Pronouns take the place of nouns in a sentence.

  • First person= singular- 'I' and plural 'we'
  • Second person= singular- 'you' and plural 'they'
  • Third person= singular- 'he, she, it' and plural 'them, theirs'

Pronouns can also be used to replace a person/thing who is the object of a sentence for example:

"Graham thanked Adam"


"Graham thanked him" - Third person singular pronoun

  • Interrogative pronouns- are used to ask questions (Which, what, who, who's)
  • Demonstrative pronouns- (this, that, these, those) these can also replace nouns, but this is only where there is a shared understanding of what is being reffered to.
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Prepositions and Conjunctions

Prepositions show the difference between things in terms of: Space, time or duration.

  • Co-ordinating conjunctions- Words like: and, but, or
  • subordinating conjunctions- Words like: However, although, unless. Other subordinating conjunctions can give different meanings e.g after and before (time) where, wherever (place) ages, forever (duration)

Conjunctions help discource run smoothly and without these speech seems very disjointed, adding them makes speech much more fluent.

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Phrases and Clauses

The simplest noun phrase possible is just a noun itself, it can also have a pre-post modifying noun or or both.

Sentences are made up of clauses (subject, verb, object) can me made of of just one clause- for example 'chloe likes walking' (verb)

However, when there is more than one clause in a sentence it is seperated by conjunctions. 

  • Co-ordinate clauses- occour in sentences when  there are two or more independant clauses clause- can't stand alone, joined by a connective
  • subordinate clauses- can't stand alone give extra information about the main clause
  • combining clauses are co/subordinate clauses together in the same sentence.
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