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TRANSMEN, TRANSWOMEN & TALK KRISTEN PRECHT-BYRD, PH.D. KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

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Presentation on theme: "TRANSMEN, TRANSWOMEN & TALK KRISTEN PRECHT-BYRD, PH.D. KENT STATE UNIVERSITY"— Presentation transcript:

1 TRANSMEN, TRANSWOMEN & TALK KRISTEN PRECHT-BYRD, PH.D. KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

2 nature vs nurture

3 women’s language Expressing Self affective vocabularylove, good, bad, nervous self-disclose morethoughts, feelings elaborate

4 women’s language Self-Confidence Level hedgessort of, pretty, somewhat tag questions“I didn’t think so, did you?” adverbials at the startactually, really amplifiersvery, really, totally

5 women’s language Relationships personal pronounsI, you, we do not interrupt express support“You did such a good job” mirror back what other says“You mean that …” more correct grammar(middle class)

6 women’s language Keep conversation going? minimal responsesmmhmm, yeah, right ask questions think about how answer will be perceived politeness: sorry, I think

7 women’s emotional language People sold him poison that was supposedly peaceful poison. I mean he really -- he was so desperate to end the pain. That's the most important thing, that Matthew was in such excruciating emotional and physical pain and he just wanted the pain to stop. --Kay, cis-female

8 men’s language Expressing self precise, informative“That happened about two years ago” Self-confidence level fillers, adverbials at the beginning well, “I think we should …” taboo language, swearing

9 men’s language Relationships interrupt directives/imperativesHand me that book. less correct grammar(working class) Keep conversation going? infrequent minimal responsesfew mmhms talk more frequently & longer wait to be asked questions

10 emotional men’s language I think the first stage is shock. And for us, shock still happens. But, for at least the first month, is I kept waiting for Matthew to come in the door. Go, "When's my son going to walk in?" I just couldn't believe that it happened. It was so sudden. --Rick, cis-male

11 this language study STANCE: emotion & attitude Emotion Expressive words, self- disclosure, support Judgements Self-expression, elaborating Quantity Words (amplifiers and hedges) Self-confidence Politeness

12 text bank Emotional interviews with: 25 TGMs 15 cismales 15 cisfemales Total: 285,000 words (50 hours of conversation)

13 computer analysis StanceSearch computer program identifies 1,300 emotion and attitude words

14 category 1: emotion words Positive emotions: care, faith, fortunate, happy, hope, I like, I love, proud, support, trust Negative emotions: afraid, alone, angry, anxious, distressing, fear, grief, hate, hurt, mad, miss, nervous, pain, painful, regret, sad, scared, sorry, tired, upset, worried

15 Who are the TGMs most like in using EMOTION words?  CIS-MALES  CIS-FEMALES

16 emotion TGMs are like cismales

17 cisfemales emotion positive negative careangry fortunateanxious happydistressing hope hurt proud nervous supportsorry

18 results #1 used the most … TGMs were like … Emotionscis-femalescis-males

19 category 2 positive judgement words amazing, beautiful, best, better, funny, good, great, important, interesting, lucky, nice, perfect, right, strong, success, successful, wonderful

20 Who are TGMs most like for POSITIVE JUDGEMENT words?  CIS-MALES  CIS-FEMALES

21 positive judgement TGMs are like cisfemales

22 positive judgement cisfemaleTGM funny beautifulgoodimportantinterestingluckyniceperfect

23 results #2 Used the most … TGMs were like … Emotionscisfemalescismales Positive Judgement TGM, cisfemales cisfemales

24 category 3: negative judgement awful, bad, challenge, crazy, difficult, horrible, odd, problem, risk, serious, silly, strange, stupid, terrible, tragic, trouble, weird, worst, wrong

25 Who are TGMs most like for NEGATIVE JUDGEMENT words?  CIS-MALES  CIS-FEMALES

26 negative judgement: TGMs are like cismales

27 negative judgement cisfemales badsilly challengestrange horriblestupid seriousterrible

28 results #3 Used the most words TGMs were like … Emotionscisfemalescismales Negative Judgement cisfemalescismales Positive Judgement TGM & cisfemales cisfemales

29 category 4: amplifiers absolutely, at all, all, always, any, deep, definitely, even, ever, full, high, main, most, mostly, much, never, nothing, only, really, single, so, too, totally, ultimately, very, very very, whole

30 Who are the TGMs most like for AMPLIFIERS?  CIS-MALES  CIS-FEMALES

31 amplifiers: TGMs are like cisfemales

32 amplifiers TGMcisfemales alwaysabsolutely definitelynever reallyso totallyvery

33 results #4 Used the most words TGMs were like … Emotionscisfemalescismales Negative Judgement cisfemalescismales Positive Judgement TGM & cisfemales cisfemales AmplifiersTGM & cisfemales cisfemales

34 category 5: hedges a bit, a lot, about, almost, just, kind of, like, maybe, more, necessarily, often, possible, possibly, pretty, probably, particularly, question, quite, relatively, seem, simply, sometimes, somewhat, sort of, such a, usually, well

35 Who are the TGMs most like for HEDGES?  CIS-MALES  CIS-FEMALES

36 Hedges TGMs are unique

37 hedges TGM a lotpretty justprobably kind of question likeseem necessarilywell

38 And I don’t do a lot of political things like I use to. I think some of it is disillusionment but some of it also is like what you said you know. Ok that’s cool if we could get married. That would be great. However, it would even better if we could just walk down the street without getting shot. You know there are things that are much more important than other things --Josh, TGM

39 results #5 Used the most words TGMs were like … Emotionscisfemalescismales Negative Judgement cisfemalescismales Positive Judgement TGM & cisfemalescisfemales AmplifiersTGM & cisfemalescisfemales HedgesTGMneither

40 category 6 politeness fine, glad, regret, sorry, thank, thankful

41 Who are the TGMs most like in POLITENESS words?  CIS-MALES  CIS-FEMALES

42 politeness TGMs are like cismales

43 politeness cisfemales thanks thankful sorry

44 SUMMING UP THE RESULTS Used the most words TGMs were like … Emotionscisfemalescismales Negative Judgement cisfemalescismales Politenesscisfemalescismales Positive Judgement TGM & cisfemalescisfemales AmplifiersTGM & cisfemalescisfemales HedgesTGMNeither

45 TGM -- emotional language If they say they really feel like, you know, their gender identity is a problem, a birth defect that needs to be corrected, I think that’s very sad.

46 what this means if you are a TGW … nce words in different situations. All women and very familiar, comfortable situations – more stance words Mixed gender, less familiar, comfortable or professional settings – fewer stance words Match your/your client’s language to women you want to emulate in different contexts: BALANCE

47 what this means if you are a transman … To sound more masculine: Use fewer hedges (maybe, I think, somewhat, etc.) Use fewer adjectives and positive emotion words Match your/your client’s language to men you want to emulate: BALANCE

48 what this means if you are a transwoman In emotional contexts with other women: use more emotional language make more judgements about things hedge/amplify more use politeness markers

49 Context more feminine language with other women, close family less feminine language in mixed company, at work BALANCE masculine and feminine language

50 nature vs nurture Nature for Emotion, Negative Judgement & Politeness? Nurture for Positive Judgement & Amplifiers? What about Hedges?

51 future directions We need more research on transwomen Research is completely anonymous and would take a couple hours of time. If you would be willing to be interviewed or have clients who might be interviewed, please give me your name and and info or me and I’ll send you information.

52 For a copy of this presentation, please leave your name and address or me at


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