Male and Female Language use
Trudgill (1983)- Studied accents- he found that women use RP - OVERT prestige
Chesire (1982)- Studied speech of adolescant boys/ girls. Found that boys use non- standard grammatical forms- COVERT prestige
Overt- respectable, well off section of society.
Covert- rebellious, independant
Women's language- why different to men's
1) Maybe women feel less secure in terms of status in society- use prestigious language to combat this?
2) Expectations that women behave 'ladylike'- e.g. not swearing or arguing
3) Men already have higher status in society- no need for prestigious forms- instead use covert prestige to seem rebellious and tough
4) Non standard lang associated with lower class males- copy this to show they share masculine qualities
HOWEVER! ONLY BASED ON SMALL QUANTITES OF MEN/ WOMEN CANT BE GENERALISED!!!!
Women's language- more polite than men's?
Charecteristics of Women's Language- ROBIN LAKOFF
Hedges and Fillers
Also tend to talk less then men.
reflects women's 'inferior social status'- make them sound NEEDY AND INDECISIVE
Women's language is weak and prevents women from being taken seriously
Called the DEFECIT APPROACH
The Deficit Approach- different viewpoint
O'BARR AND ATKINS (1980)
Analysed the language used in a courtroom
MALE and FEMALE witnesses analysed- both with LOW SOCIAL STATUS and/or INEXPERIENCED with courtroom practices
Both showed linguistic features Lakoff said were female
Suggests Lakoff's ideas could be linked to people feeling POWERLESS
Old- completed in 1975
Other research argues differently.
Holmes (1984)- women's language doesnt show weakness- instead shows desire to co-operate
Cameron (2007)- Argued the situation dictates how a person speaks NOT gender- few differences between Males/ Females
The Dominance Approach
ZIMMERMAN AND WEST (1975)
Recorded interruptions in conversations between men and women
96% of interruptions were made by Men
MEN ARE DOMINANT in mixed sex conversation
The Difference Model
TANNEN (1990)- DIFFERENCE APPROACH
Described male and female style of conversation in terms of difference
Concerned with STATUS AND INDEPENDANCE e.g. interrupt a lot
Give DIRECT ORDERS e.g. pass me that
Interested in gaining FACTUAL INFORMATION & finding SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS
Interested in FORMING BONDS- talk less and agree more then men
Give POLITE, INDIRECT ORDERS, try to AVOID CONTACT. e.g. could you pass me that
show UNDERSTANDING by COMPROMISING and offering support rather than solutions
Problems with Difference and Dominance approachs
Questioned Zimmerman and West-
specifically interruption doesnt neccasarily show dominance- argued could be SUPPORTIVE e.g mmm, yes
Claimed research was BIASED- only focus on differences (small) compared to larger similarities.