Language and Gender Researchers

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Name of Linguist, Year, What They Discovered

Jespersen, 1922

Danish- described female lang as using unfinished sentences

Trudgill, 1972

Women seek overt prestige while men seek covert prestige. Men use more non-standard pronunciation.

Ardener, 1975

Speech of women directly reflects male dominance and female oppression

Lakoff, 1975

Argued that women used tentative expressions (eg. Tag q’s) due to their social position- described male lang as stronger and more prestigious

Zimmerman and West, 1975

Taped conversations between students and discovered 96% of interruptions were by men- no difference in single sex conversations. Longer pauses in mixed sex conversations. Formed concept of ‘doing gender’

Morgan, 1977

Looked at sexist language use- father’s/husband’s surnames

Milroy, 1978

Men use more non-standard forms. When women started getting employed they picked up more non-standard speech.

Gumperz, 1978

Looked at the differences in cultures and language which led to difference theory

Spender, 1980

Argued that men control meaning so women are expressing themselves through man made language

O’Barr and Atkins, 1980

Said that features of uncertain speech were more dependent on power than gender in court- using Lakoff’s ‘female’ features- renamed it powerless language.

Fishman, 78/80/90

Men talk more than women, 62% of topics introduced by women, women backchannel more and ask 3x more qs

Jones, 1980

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