Language and Gender
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 supported this research after observing that boys used non-standard forms more than girls did.
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…