Eng. Lan. Gender
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Zimmerman and West
- 31 conversations. Study is dated, American, small scale. Men interrupt womenmore than women interrupt men. Women more likely to accept interruption than men.
Society is patriarchal, women are powerless. Male as norm. Language is patriarchal. Women are trapped in a male dominated society.
Menare using language to dominate women or to show dominant position in society. Women do work in conversations ‘shit work’ of conversation. Ask questions; propose topics; topics that men want; rising intonation.
- Recorded 10 hours of tutorial lessons and found over 500 interruptions. He found statistically no difference between genders. Equal as all were ‘students’ who shared the same status.
- “Men Talk” – had men wear mikes and record all male conversations. Found peculiarities;
- Rapid fire interchange
- Insult each other
- Playing the expert
- Testing each other
- Shows self as defiant
- Studied the use of commands and directives by Philadelphian children.
- Boys used commands with no politeness markers, and backed up commands with a desire statement “give me the… I want the…” Called this‘aggravated directives’ – bald commands
- girls at play were different and would use inclusive statements – “let’s do it like this” suggested not commanded. Called this ‘mitigated directives’ – disguised commands. Used softening, tentative modality “maybe” soften as much as possible.
- Research into Doctors’ language and how they directed patients. Male doctors preferred to use aggravated directives.
- Male doctors say what they need to – “You need to…”
- Female doctors use more mitigated
- directives, use “we” more than “you”. Use tentative modality.
- Fathers playing with children and mothers playing with children. Fathers tell children what to do while mothers consult the child on what to do
- Accepts distinct ways of speech – takes many from Lakoff. Argues childhood friendships affect how we speak. Boys like gangs of friends and fight for positions and work out place. Girls have one or two best friends so support and nurture and take turns. Not to show dominance over women, but with other males as well as women.
- Males - Status, independence, advice, information, orders, conflict
- Females - Support, intimacy, understanding, feelings, proposals, compromise
- 4 types of women’s gossip
- Housetalk – informing of concrete tasks. Practical.
- Scandal - judging behaviour of others.
- Bitching – attacking men – how different and awkward they are.
- Chatting – feelings and beliefs
Beginning of deficit model, women’s language inferior to men’s.
- “The Myth of Venus and Mars”
- No difference between women’s and men’s language
Is old study applicable to modern day English Language? “Language and Women's Place” (book) “Women's Language” (article) Assumptions on women’s language. How partial of an observer was she? Women's language as inferior to male language as women are inferior in society.
- 1.Hedging - Hedging provides a way out, should disagreement occur, qualifying statements with non-absolute language, such as 'sort of', 'I guess', etc.
- Well, I sort of looked at him, and then he kind of looked back. Then I guess I kept looking.
- 2. Politeness - Politeness is taken to more extreme forms, either putting the speaker in an inferior position or seeking to be thoughtful and non-threatening towards the other person.
- Do excuse me, but I really appreciate it if you could take a little time to help me.
- 3. Tag questions - Tag questions added to the end of a statement do not change the statement, although they do seek agreement.
- You would do that, wouldn't you?
- 4. Emotional emphasis - The emotional content of sentences are increased through the use of intonation that emphasizes and exaggerates emotional.
- You are so very kind. I really want you to know I am so grateful.
- 5. Empty adjectives- Adjectives are applied to soften and add friendly elements to the sentence, although they are do not add any particularly meaningful content.
- What a charming and sweet young man you are!
- 6. Correct grammar and pronunciation - Care is taken to be correct with language and speech. Colloquialisms and slang are used far less than men.
- I would be very appreciative if you could show me the way.
- 7. Lack of humour - Humour is not used very much and jokes are very seldom told.
- 8. Direct quotations - The words that people said are often quoted, even quoting people who quote other people.
- Then she said that he said, "I won't do it." So I said, "Why not?"
- 9. Extended vocabulary - Rather than simple language, vocabulary is extended to use descriptive language. Thus, for example a precise language is used to describe colours. The walls should be cerise, with a royal blue tracer.
- 10. Declarations with interrogative intonation - Statements are made, but using the intonation used for questions, rising at the end of the statement.
- That sounds like a good thing to do?
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