Language and Gender

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Robin Lakoff

Women use more;

  • HEDGES
  • POLITE FORMS
  • LESS FREQUENT SPEECH
  • TAG QUESTIONS
  • HYPER-CORRECT GRAMMAR
  • INTENSIFIERS/MODIFIERS
  • INDIRECT REQUESTS
  • AVOIDANCE OF COARSE LANGUAGE
  • APOLOGISE MORE
  • EMPTY ADJECTIVES
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Debroah Tannen

INFORMATION VS FEELINGS
Men talk to gain information whilst women talk about feelings and other empty topics.

ORDERS VS PROPOSALS
Men tend to prefer to have imperatives used whilst women tend to propose things in an indirect way such as; "why don't we?".

CONFLICT VS COMPROMISE
Women refuse to oppose the will of others openly whereas men have a tendancy to challenge others when they don't agree.

STATUS VS SUPPORT
Men see conversation as a competition whereas women support oneanother,

INDEPENDANCE VS INTIMACY
Men strive for independance and so go out without asking their wife to show independance whereas women like to show they have to check with their husband to show intimacy.

ADVICE VS UNDERSTANDING
Men see complaints as a challenge whereas women support each other.

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Grice's Maxims

QUANTITY
Make your contribution as informative as possible, do not make your contributions more informative than necessary.

QUALITY
Do not say what you believe to be false.
Do not say anything you lack sufficient evidence for.

RELATION
Always be relevant.

MANNER
Avoid obscurity of expression.
Be orderly.
Avoid ambiguity.
Be brief.

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Pilkington

Women focus on feelings, personal anecdotes and relationships.

Men's conversation is competitive to the point of verbal abuse, partalking in verbal sparring often using mock insults.

Women talk to affirm solidarity and maintain relationships.

Women built on each others points and complete utterances.

Women agree frequently.

Men find long pauses (thinking time) to be more acceptable.

Men frequently disagree.

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Zimmerman and West

THE DOMINANCE MODEL

In same sex conversations, interruptions were equally distributed.

In mixed sex conversations, women were more silent than men. (Men asserting dominance).

In mixed sex conversations, males interrupted more frequently. (Again asserting dominance).

Geoffry Beattie criticised the theory stating then men in these particular conversations may have simply been more chatty in comparison to the women.

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Gender Representation

How each gender is presented through books, movies, advertisements, scripts and the media.

This image may reinforce stereotypes and our percieved idea of male and female roles.

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