Guide to Robin Lakoff, Gender Sociolinguistic

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Lakoff
guide to
Lakoff
Professor Robin Lakoff, born 1942,
is known for her 1973 research on
gender sociolinguistics.
She later gained international acclaim by
publishing her findings which defined “ 10
ways” women differ in speech from men
in a book entitled, Language & Woman's
Place
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Lakoff: Findings 1973
Found that there were ten notable
ways where the speech of a woman
differs from that of a man.
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Lakoff: Findings 1973
1. Hedges – Phrases such as
“sort of”, “kind of”, “seems
like”.
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Lakoff: Findings 1973
2. Use of Empty Adjectives –
divine, adorable, gorgeous, etc.
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Lakoff: Findings 1973
3. (Super-)Polite forms – “Would
you mind?”,
“if its not too much to ask”,
“is it okay if”
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Lakoff: Findings 1973
4. Apologise more– Women have a
tendency to apologise more often,
i.e. “Sorry, but I think that”
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Lakoff: Findings 1973
5. Speak Less Frequently–
In mixed-sex conversation,
females will likely speak less
than males.
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Lakoff: Findings 1973
6. Avoid Coarse Language
or expletives – Women less
likely to swear or use “rude”
language.
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Lakoff: Findings 1973
7. Tag Questions – "You don't
mind eating this, do you?”
It is made up of an AUXILIARY
verb and a PRONOUN.
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Lakoff: Findings 1973
8. Indirect Requests– “Aww, I
am really thirsty” – actually a
request for a drink.
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Lakoff: Findings 1973
9. Hypercorrection– Women
were found to hypercorrect (overlycorrect) their grammar and use a
high prestige of pronunciation, with
very clear articulation.
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Lakoff: Findings 1973
10. “Speak in Italics”– Women
placed emphasis on certain words,
particularly modifiers, such as very,
quite and so.
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