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Using Sketch Engine to examine representations of MAN and WOMAN in the BNC Michael Pearce Department of Culture University of Sunderland

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Presentation on theme: "Using Sketch Engine to examine representations of MAN and WOMAN in the BNC Michael Pearce Department of Culture University of Sunderland"— Presentation transcript:

1 Using Sketch Engine to examine representations of MAN and WOMAN in the BNC Michael Pearce Department of Culture University of Sunderland

2 Outline Sketch Engine Word sketches Word sketch difference MAN and WOMAN in the BNC Power and deviance Personality and mental capacity

3 Collocation Collocation, identified by Firth (1957), is a way of demonstrating (relatively) exclusive or frequent relationships between words (or other linguistic phenomenon). If two words collocate, then they have a tendency to occur near or next to each other in naturally occurring language use. Baker 2010: 24

4 Previous studies in gender and collocation Romaine (2000) Caldas-Coulthard and Moon (1999/2010)

5 Collocates with man/woman and boy/girl in a three million word sub-corpus of the BNC (from Romaine, 2000: 110)

6 From Moon and Caldas-Coulthard 2010

7 Sketch Engine Sketch Engine is a Corpus Query System incorporating, word sketches, grammatical relations, and a distributional thesaurus; A word sketch is a one-page, automatic, corpus-derived summary of a words grammatical and collocational behaviour; SE is designed for anyone wanting to research how words behave, with particular regard to the needs of lexicography; Word Sketches were first used in the preparation of the Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners (2002, Edited by Michael Rundell); In use for lexicography at Oxford University Press, ChambersHarrap, Macmillan Publishers and elsewhere; People: Adam Kilgarriff, Pavel Rychly, Jan Pomikalek. Web:

8 Part of a Word Sketch showing three grammatical relations for MAN

9 Word Sketch Difference a neat way of comparing … words: it shows those patterns and combinations that the two items have in common, and also those patterns and combinations that are more typical of (or even unique to) one word rather than the other (Getting started with Sketch Engine)

10 MAN and WOMAN occur as subject of the verb scream Scream has a higher saliency with WOMAN (18.6) than it does with MAN (8.6) Climb has a higher saliency with MAN (15.9) than it does with WOMAN (1.4) COMMON PATTERNS

11 WOMAN (but not MAN) is modified by the adjectives pretty, dumpy and scarlet MAN (but not WOMAN) is modified by burly, balding and dirty UNIQUE/EXCLUSIVE PATTERNS

12 MAN and WOMAN in the BNC MAN/WOMAN as Subject MAN/WOMAN as Object Attributive adjectives associated with MAN/WOMAN

13 MAN and WOMAN Power Deviance Social categorization Personality and mental capacity Appearance Sexuality

14 Power and deviance

15 dig, pounce, lunge, stomp, frolic, saw, heave, hammer, race, plough, haul Favouring MANUnique to MAN 1. Subject: actions requiring physical strength/endurance

16 burly, thick-set, muscular, strong-armed, thickset, barrel-chested Favouring MANUnique to MAN 2. Adjectives of physical size and potency [She] was a broad-shouldered woman, though not physically(AP0) She is the strongest woman er heroine that weve read(K60)

17 I was also worried about being tackled to the ground by a burly woman who was deeply in touch with her masculine side The cashier was a burly woman who hardly looked like a female Just thinking about two burly women writhing around in jelly Two burly women raided a sperm bank in Dallas, Texas, declared themselves lesbians, and stole 37 jars of samples to give our lovers babies

18 dominate lead possess own Favouring MANUnique to MAN conquer, mastermind, build, hunt, outrank, raid, captain 3. Subject: general exercise of power/ownership

19 Women and men own: property money livestock But unlike women, men are also represented as owning: businesses (e.g. shops, restaurants, hotels) shares machinery land teams estates clothes vehicles educational establishments boats farms

20 monied 4. Attributive adjectives associated with wealth, power, resources Favouring MANUnique to MAN

21 masked, wanted, armed, hanged, accused, arrested, convicted, gun-toting, evil- looking, strong-arm, vengeful, jailed Favouring MANUnique to MAN 5. Adjectives associated with deviancy

22 rape, muscle, pounce, conquer, ransack, bludgeon, raid, mutilate, libel, strangle, burgle, fiddle, mistreat, oppress, abscond, con Favouring MANUnique to MAN 6. Subject verbs associated with deviancy

23 apprehend, censure, persecute 7. Object verbs associated with deviancy Favouring MANUnique to MAN

24 slay, slaughter, clout, behead, knife, devour, bite, apprehend, blindfold, restrain, incarcerate, shackle, handcuff Favouring MANUnique to MAN

25 terrorise, ravish, suffocate, gag, violate 8. Object: negative actions Favouring WOMANUnique to WOMAN

26 9. Object: positive actions Favouring WOMAN

27 10. WOMAN as Object Unique to WOMAN IDEOLOGICAL POWER: coerce, discriminate, mistreat, disempower, hoodwink, objectify, trivialize, penalise, marginalize, downgrade, shame, violate, interrogate, dislodge, limit, omit, prescribe, dump, restrict, use Verbs of OBSERVATION, CATEGORIZATION, ANALYSIS and INTERVENTION: section, sterilise, conceptualise, assist, organize, immunise, define, impregnate, cushion, equate, categorise, compensate, nurse, highlight, construct, monitor, interpret, exhibit, regulate, integrate, provide, direct

28 Personality and mental capacity

29 Personality traits Extraversion Agreeableness Conscientiousness Neuroticism Openness to experience

30 Extraversion Associated with activity, friendliness, sociability, assertiveness and talkativeness MAN more strongly associated with words conveying activity and assertiveness Fewer extravert behaviours and characteristics associated with WOMAN (noteworthy that several of these have strong sexual connotations) Talkativeness is also a marker of extraversion MANWOMAN


32 Agreeableness Associated with traits such as trustfulness, good-naturedness, kindness and affection MANWOMAN

33 Conscientiousness Associated with traits such as efficiency, thoroughness and discipline MAN

34 Neuroticism Associated with worry, insecurity, anxiety and depression. MANWOMAN

35 Openness to experience Associated with traits such as imagination, independence, creativity and intellectual curiosity MANWOMAN

36 Conclusions Collocates of MAN and WOMAN seem often to represent gender in stereotypical ways. But... Women are presented as the objects of sociological enquiry within a discourse which acknowledges their subordinate status and attempts to redress it.

37 References Baker, P. 2010. Sociolinguistics and Corpus Linguistics. Edinburgh. Edinburgh University Press. Moon, R. And Caldas-Coulthard, C. R. 2010. Curvy, hunky, kinky: using corpora as tools for critical analysis. Discourse & Society, 21(2) 99–133. Pearce, M. 2008. Investigating the collocational behaviour of MAN and WOMAN in the BNC using Sketch Engine. Corpora, 3 (1) 1-29.Corpora Romaine, S. 2000. Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (second edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

38 Using Sketch Engine to examine representations of MAN and WOMAN in the BNC Michael Pearce Department of Culture University of Sunderland

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