English Language Revision - Language and Gender

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  • Created by: Annie
  • Created on: 29-05-11 13:34

Language and Gender

Trudgill (1974)

Trudgill discovered that across social classes, men tended to use a more non-standard pronounciation, whereas women over-reported. This led Trudgill to think that male speakers attached a covert prestige to non-standard forms, giving them higher status.

Cheshire (1982)

Cheshire supported this research after observing that boys used non-standard forms more than girls did.

Deficit Theory

Robin Lackoff (1975) - Language and Women's Place

Features that regard women's language as deficient and 'powerless'

  • Hedges such as "sort of", "kind of" & "it seems like"
  • Tag questions such as "You're going to dinner, aren't you?" - shows insecurity
  • Precise colour terms such as ''mauve'' and ''navy''
  • Intensifiers such as "so" and "very"
  • Use super polite forms such as "Would you mind"
  • Empty adjectives such as "charming", "sweet" and "lovely"
  • Have a special lexicon for things such as colours and clothes
  • Apologise more
  • Avoid coarse language and expletives
  • Lack a sense of humour




O'Barr and Atkins (1980)

By observing courtroom trials they found that many of the features that Lackoff described as 'women's language' was used by those of a lower-class or less authoratitive and therefore named


Johnny Carr

your an absolute babe


Johnny stop flirting, this is a revision website ;p


Amazing this will help with my resits so much thanks!

Madelaine Hanson


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