What women talk about
Robin Lakoff (1975): Women's vocab includes trivial words because they are relegated to decisions about such trivial things
Mira Komarovsky (1962): 58 working class USA couples, women spoke about family, personal matters. Men spoke about money, business, sport, work, local politics.
Jennifer Coates (1996): Men prefer topics that allow participants to take turns at being the expert. Women are more personal.
Deborah Tannen (1992): Men usually assume role of information giver or fixer because this reinforces strength and status.
Robin Lakoff (1975): Adds uncertainty to a statement so a speaker doesn't impose her point of view
Pamela Fishman (1980): Women use 3 times more tags. NOT because of uncertainty but because they were trying to keep the conversation going.
Janet Holmes (1984):
- Modal Tags - seek information
- Affective Tags - softening/concern
- Facilitative Tags - drawing listener in
- 61% modal tags used by men, 75% facilitative tags used by women
Cameron & Coates (1988): Monitor whether others are in agreement. Respect the face needs of others when discussing sensitive issues
Jennifer Coates (1996): Men use questions to seek information from each other
Intensifiers, Qualifiers & Competition
Robin Lakoff (1975): Avoiding strong statements or committing to an opinion. Uncertainty.
Dale Spender (1980): Show uncertainty when used by women but certainty and authority when used by men.
Cameron & Coates (1988): The adversarial style of conversation where speakers vie for turns and where participants are more likely to contradict each other than build on each other's contributions
Hedges + Imperatives
Robin Lakoff (1975): Punctuate speech with uncertainty
Fishman (1980): Women use 'you know' 5 times more than men. NOT uncertainty but again doing conversational work.
Cameron & Coates (1988): Help statements to become negotiable and even retractable, depending on the rest of the group's comments.
Jennifer Coates (1996): Men hedge less
Deborah Tannen (1992): Men use more. Use them to their sons more than daughters. Women used cloaked imperatives... "Let's"
Hypercorrect Grammar + Co-operation
Robin Lakoff (1975): Women more likely to comply to grammatical rules
Peter Trudgill (1970): Norwich study showed women using correct pronunciation
Jenny Cheshire (1970s): Reading Study - Even at an early age females are using more standard forms
Cameron & Coates (1988): Refers to a particular type of conversation, where speakers work together to produce shared meanings
Silences + Minimal Responses
Zimmerman & West (1975):
- Single sex conversation - 1.35 secs
- Mixed sex conversation - 3.21 secs
- Women kept being interrupted so spoke less
Deborah Tannen (1992): Women see listening and supporting as essential to group bonding. They assume a turn will be granted
Coates (1988): Women make well-placed minimal responses but the men make them too late. This indicated a lack of interest and support, which led to women falling silent.