Presentation on theme: "Eighth meeting Gender and speech features. Gender and social class Women tend to use more of the standard form while men use of the vernacular forms."— Presentation transcript:
Gender and social class Women tend to use more of the standard form while men use of the vernacular forms. In every social class, men use more vernacular form than women. In the lowest and the highest social groups, the women’s speech is closer to that of the men in the same group than to that of women in other group. In this group class membership seems to be more important then gender identity. Across all social groups women generally use more standard forms than men while men use more vernacular forms than women.
Women’s Linguistic Behaviour Women are more status concious Women are the guardian of society values Women are sub ordinate group and sub ordinate group must be polite.
Some alternative explanations Vernacular forms express machismo: men prefer vernacular forms because they carry macho connotation of masculinity and toughness. (e.g: misuh/swear) Standard forms tend to be associated with female values and femininity. Using standard speech forms may be a reflectionof women,s sensitivity to contextual factors. Standard forms are used in context where people operate primarily in terms of social status and role and standard forms reflect social distance.
Women Speech Features Women tend to use more of the standard forms than men do, while men use more of the vernacular forms than women do (Holmes, 1992: 153)
The Features 1. Lexical Hedges or filler Lakoff (1975:53) : Women’s speech seems in general to contain more instances of ‘well’, ‘y’know’, ‘kinda’ and so forth: words that convey the sense that the speaker is uncertain about what she is saying or cannot vouch for the accuracy of the statement.
2. Tag Question A tag question is used when the speaker is stating a claim, but lacks full confidence in the truth of that claim. E. She is very nice,isn’t she?
3. Rising Intonation on Declarative The effect is one were seeking confirmation, at the same time the speaker may be the only one who has the requisite information. E.g. It’s really good.
4. “Empty” Adjectives Empty adjective are those which only convey an emotional reaction rather than specific information Neutral women only Great adorable Terrific charming Cool sweet Neat lovely divine divine
5. Precise Color Terms Women make far more precise discriminations in naming colors than do men; words like beige, ecru, aquamarine, lavender, etc are unremarkable in a woman’s active vocabulary, but absent from that of most men.
6. Intensifiers Women use intensifiers like so, such, very, quite,etc more frequently than men. Substituting an equative like so for absolute superlative (like very, really, utterly) seems to be a way of backing out of committing oneself strongly to an opinion.
7. Hypercorrect Grammar Women always consider the use of prestige grammar and clear articulation. Hypercorrect grammar involves avoidance of coarse language. E.g: women avoid saying “ain’t” or double negatives.
8. Superpolite Form Women are suppose to speak more politely than men. This is related to their hypercorrectness in grammar, of course, since it’s considered more mannerly in middle-class society to speak “properly” e.g the use of euphemism, indirect request
9. Avoidanve of strong swear bwords. Women usually use softer forms to depict their expression of opinion such as ‘oh, dear!’ or ‘Goodness!’ or ‘Fudge’, then men use the stronger swear words such as ‘Dammit!’ or ‘Shit!’
10. Emphatic Stress The use of question intonation on sentences that are not question. Women use modifiers such as so, such, and very. Women tend to use words which are used to emphasize the utterance or strengthen the meaning of an utterance. E.g: It was such great performance.
Gossip In western society gossip is defined as ‘idle talk’ and considered particularly characteristic of women’s interaction.
The function of Gossip To affirm solidarity and maintain the social relationships between the women involved.
The topics of Gossips Focuses predominantly on personal experiences and personal relation – ships, on personal problem and feelings. It may include criticism of the behaviour of others but women tend to avoid criticising people directly to avoid discomfort.
Men’s Speech Features Masculinity may lead men to be more favorably disposed to non-standard linguistic forms than women. The concept of masculinity has made a stronger pressure on men than on women, so men’s speech will be less ‘correct’ than women speech.(Trudgill, 1983:38)
1. Vernacular Forms It has been found that, from a very young age, little boys “drop” their g’s much more than do little girls: boys say “singin”, “goin” and so on while girls are less apt to (Lakoff, 1957: 55)
2. Taboo and Swear Words It is certainly more acceptable in our society for men to swear and use the taboo words than it is for women. (Trudgil, 1983 : 84)
3. Interruption It is common belief that men interrupt more than women and that women get interrupt more than men. (Eckert and McConnel-Ginet, 2003: 111)
4. Verbal Aggressiveness Loud and aggressive argument is a common feature of speech in all- male groups : such arguments often focuse on trivial uses and are enjoyed for their own sake. Shouting, name calling, threats, and insult are all part of male verbal aggressiveness. (Coates, 1986 : 153)
Age grading and language change Usually more standard Old Old More vernacular young young More standard
Age graded features of speech Pitch (develop at puberty) Pitch (develop at puberty) Vocabulary (slang, swear = teenager) Pronunciation Grammar (slang, non standard = teenager)
Age and social dialect Adolescents use the highest frequencies of vernaculars or non standard is the marker of solidarity
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