Language & Gender

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  1. How do men and women use language differently?
    Trudgill (1983) & Cheshire (1982)-women tend to use accents from a higher social class than men to give them overt prestige.
  2. Overt prestige
    The prestige of being associated with a respectable, well off section of society.
  3. Covert prestige
    Using non standard language can make someone seem a bit rebellious & independent e.g. cockney accent. Men tend to seek this type of prestige more than women.
  4. 4 reasons women may seek overt prestige
    • 1. Women may be less secure in their social status
    • 2. Society expects higher standards of behaviour from women
    • 3. Men already have a higher social status
    • 4. Non standard language may be associated with working class men
  5. Politeness features of women's language-Lakoff (1975)
    • Hedges & fillers-sort of, kind of
    • Apologetic requests-I'm sorry but..
    • Tag questions-this is nice, isn't it?
    • Indirect requests-It's very noisy out there-meaning can you close the door.
  6. Other features of women's language according to Lakoff
    • Speak less
    • Fewer swear words
    • More intensifiers like so or very
  7. What is the deficit model?
    Lakoff said that these language features made women's language inferior to men's and stops women from being taken seriously.
  8. How did O'Barr & Atkins dispute Lakoff's deficit model?
    In 1980 they analysed courtroom trials-witnesses of low social status showed same language features-deficit model is found in males or females when they feel powerless.
  9. Dominance model
    Zimmerman & West (1975) Based on men interrupting more-men dominant in male-female conversations
  10. Difference model
    • Tannen (1990) Described male-female conversations in terms of difference.
    • Status vs support
    • Direct vs indirect
    • Facts vs empathy
  11. Marked terms
    These are words that reveal a person's gender e.g. policeman
  12. Generic terms
    When a marked term is used to refer to both genders e.g. mankind
  13. Lexical Asymemetry
    Pairs of words that mean the same but are unbalanced e.g. bachelor & spinster
  14. Patronising terms
    Words used by speakers that imply superiority e.g. women referred to as girls
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Language & Gender

Cards to revise language & gender for AQA AS English language B
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