William Labov, Peter Trudgill
Theory: Women use more standard vocabulary, grammar and pronoinciation than men. Mothers more than fathers encourage their children to use the standard forms. Explanation: Men have traditionally been able to gain social prestige from job, salary, caretc. but women havent. So women style-shift towards high prestige forms of language because they are compensating for lack of social stats through linguistic status. Mothers are more often responsible for children's language development so transfer what they perceive to be the acceptable norms to their children.
Zimmerman and West
In mixed-sex conversations men will interrupt more. Women support more wwith questions and feedback.
Men compete, challenge, dispute and ignore more than women.
Men dominate mixed sex conversations.
Men use more taboo words than women.
Women use 'empty' adjectives like nice, pretty, cute etc.
Women's group talk focuses on emotions, feelings, family, home andrelationships.
Men's group talk focuses on more concrete, impersonal, fact-related subjects.
Women are insecure speackers laking in linguistic skills because of socialisation process.
Examples: Women use hedges like 'kind of', 'I guess', 'sort of' which express uncertainty.
Dale Spender, Pamela Fishman
Theory: Language has been controlled and developed by men to reflect their experience and world view. Language is used to exert male dominance. Women’s language usage reflects their inferior social position.
Women use interactional language features such as questions, hedges like ‘you know’ not because they are insecure speakers, as Lakoff suggests, but as a means of trying to gain conversational equality.
Women use more questions in mixed-sex conversations, up to 2.5x more.
Women initiate more topics in mixed-sex conversations. In one study 68% compared with 32% for men.
In mixed-sex interactions men speak for approximately twice as long as women.
Kira Hall, Jennifer Coates
Theory: Gender is something we ‘do’ or ‘perform’ rather than something we ‘are’ or ‘have’. We often perform our gender through the language we use.
Women’s language in same-sex groups differs from that used in mixed=sex groups or when talking exclusively to a men.
Sadker and Sadker
Theory: Mixed education classroom discussion is dominated by boys.
Theory: The conversations structure of single-sex groups is different.
Women give more verbal support, agreeing, giving feedback, overlapping to create a communal conversation, jumping from topic to topic.
Men tended to speak one at a time, gave fewer verbal supports, and kept to one topic at a time.
Girls have lengthier contact time with teachers in one to one classroom interactions than boys. In one study 3minutes 45 seconds compared with 56 seconds for boys.
Boys are more frequently involved in teacher initiated interactions than girls. Over a ten lesson study, 42% of teacher initiated interactions were with girls, 58% with boys.
In her excellent and very readable 2007 book ‘The Myth of Mars and Venus’ Deborah Cameron is highly critical of a lot of the research above which suggests that there are significant gender based differences between men and women. She points out how much of the research is either flawed or the evidence behind the claims simply doesn’t exist. She points out that many of the believed differences are, in fact, dependent upon context, in particular, situations of authority and power – e.g. Both men and women in positions lacking in power use language in ways that are similar and have been argued are characteristic of women.
Females are 4 times more likely to admit that they were wrong or had made more mistakes than males were.
Theory: Men and women have different ways of communicating. These differences are established in early childhood. Boys and girls grow up using language differently.
Adults talk differently to boys and girls.
Adults accept and encourage different ways of talking from boys and girls.
The language of young boys playing in same-sex groups is co-operative, concerned with rules, hierarchical with leaders giving orders without reason or explanations, argumentative, insulting, threatening.
Deboarh Tannen cont
The language of young girls playing in same-sex groups is co-operativee, egalitarian with everyone making suggestions and seeking out agreement and consensus, using inclusive words such as ‘we’ ‘us’ ‘together’, making suggestions rather than giving orders, and avoiding disagreement and confrontation.
Consequently, women are more co-operative speakers than men.