Document

Report
L25A: Language, Gender and Sex
2006-2007
Lecturer: Emmogene Budhai-Alvaranga
Email addresses: [email protected] or
[email protected]
L23A Website:
www.mona.uwi.edu/dllp/courses/l25a
Please Turn off all cellular phones & pagers
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Topics - the Session
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
Sex vs. Gender

Gender and its socio-cultural
context; its place in society.
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Sex vs. Gender
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
Sex: produces categories
distinguished by biological
characteristics - man vs. woman

Gender: produces categories
which are based on socio-cultural
behaviour - male vs. female
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Gender identity
(Holmes, 2001:303)


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Women - adapt to ‘masculine context’
eg. women in certain jobs – police force
Men - adapt to ‘feminine context’
eg. Men working in clothing stores or
hairdressing salons
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Women’s and Men’s language
1. Gender-exclusive speech
differences:
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
difference in languages used
(eg. given by Holmes 2001: 150)

differences in linguistic features
(eg. found in Jespersen 1922)
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Rochefort (1655, cited in
Jespersen, 1922:237)
“the men have a great many expressions peculiar
to them, which the women understand but never
pronounce themselves. On the other hand, the
women have words and phrased which the men
never use, or they would be laughed to scorn.
Thus it happen that in their conversations it often
seems as if the women had another language
than the men.”
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The repetoires of personal
pronouns of men and women
are different as follows:
Pronoun: First person (I)
Formal
Plain
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Men’s speech
Women’s speech
watakusi
watasi
watakusi
atakusi*
boku
watasi
atasi*
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Japanese cont’d
Second person (you)
Men’s speech
Women’s speech
Formal
anata
anata
Plain
kimi
anata
anta*
anta*
(*marks variants of a social dialect)
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[source: Mesthrie, Swann, Leap, Deumert 2000:219]
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Women’s and Men’s language
2.
Gender-preferential speech features
They use same speech forms – difference in
quantity or frequencies of use.
Women tend to prefer standard forms, men
prefer vernacular forms.
Example: women produced more ‘th’ than
alternatives [f], [t], [d]
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Explanations of women’s
linguistic behaviour:



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the social status explanation
different patterns of socialization
dominance/Subordinate group must be
polite.
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