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Language & gender presentation


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Language & gender presentation

  2. 2. Who is possibly talking ?  1-a) oh dear, you‟ve put the ice-cream into the refrigerator, again?  1-b)damn ! You‟ve put the ice-cream into the refrigerator, again?  2-a) what a divine idea!  2-b) what a terrific idea! 2
  3. 3. SEX & GENDER:What are the differences?  It is obvious that the men and women who speak a language use it in different ways; therefore, any differences that exist simply reflect the ways in which the sexes relate to each other in a society may make it possible to describe a particular language as “sexist”. These issues have risen discussions in the last decades of the twentieth century, and have been one of the biggest growing areas within sociolinguistics in recent years. In the 1980s, it was normal for a sociolinguist to describe his/her studies as being „language and sex‟. Yet, during years, the term „sex‟ has been replaced by the term „gender‟, of which the difference between the two terms are as follow: 3
  4. 4. Miriam Meyerhoff (2006) differentiates the two terms „sex‟ and „gender‟ suggesting that‟‟ the term „sex‟ is increasingly restricted in sociolinguistics to refer to a „biologically‟ or „physiologically‟ based distinction between males and females, as opposed to the more social notion of „gender‟ „‟ (p.201) According to Meyerhoff (2006) gender is „‟not sex of speaker which (largely) reflects biological or physiological differences between people used increasingly in sociolinguistics to indicate a social identity that emerges or is constructed through social actions‟‟ (p.201) 4
  5. 5. Whorfian Hypothesis and gender  it suggests that language that we speak affects our thoughts in clear ways - it makes us how we are - that is, what you speak is what/how you think. In the Whorf hypothesis, one cannot think outside the confines of one's language. For example, if you ask German and Spanish speakers to describe the same objects having opposite gender assignment in those two languages, you may get different describtions. A study showed that the descriptions they gave differed in a way predicted by grammatical gender. For example, when asked to describe a "key" — a word that is masculine in German and feminine in Spanish — the German speakers were more likely to use words like "hard," "heavy," "jagged," "metal," "serrated," and "useful," whereas Spanish speakers were more likely to say "golden," "intricate," "little," "lovely," "shiny," and "tiny." To describe a "bridge," which is feminine in German and masculine in Spanish, the German speakers said "beautiful," "elegant," "fragile," "peaceful," "pretty," and "slender," and the Spanish speakers said "big," "dangerous," "long," "strong," "sturdy," and "towering." This was true even though all testing was done in English, a language without grammatical gender. ( 5
  6. 6. How Sexist the language of English is !  Use of Pronouns: he , she  Intonation differences: women-rising intonation/ tag questions (it is claimed that women use tag questions more than men because they are not sure whether waht they say is true or not, thus they employ tag questions to get a clarification)  Vocabulary differences: colours (women use more words for colours!), adjectives, addressing, titles... actor, actress Baron, Baroness ,Count, Countess , Duke, Duchess,Emperor, Empress,giant, giantess,host, hostess,lion, lioness, manager, manageress,master, mistress,murderer, murderess,priest, priestess,Prince, Princess,poet, poetess,waiter, waitress, bridegroom, bride, widower, widow,boy-friend, girl-friend,grandfather, grandmother,great grandfather, great grandmother, grandson, granddaughter,great grandson,great granddaughter, father-in- law, mother-in-law,brother-in-law, sister-in-law,son-in-law, daughter-in-law,landlord, landlady,manservant, maidservant, step-father, step-mother,step-son, step-daughter, Godfather, Godmother, Godson, Goddaughter Animals:tom, tib (cat), tom, tib (elephant),bull, cow,boar, sow,buck, roe, ram, ewe, etc. ( 6
  7. 7. Grammatical Gender  A language has 'gender-specific pronouns' when personal pronouns have different forms according to the gender of their referents.  The English language has three gender-specific pronouns in the 3rd. person singular, whose forms are gender-specific: he (masculine), she (feminine), and it (neuter, used for objects, abstractions, and most animals). The other English pronouns (I, you, they...) do not make gender distinctions; i.e., they are genderless or gender-neutral. ( 7
  8. 8. Indo-European Languages  In most Indo-European languages (though not in the modern Indo-Iranian languages) third-person pronouns are gender-specific, while first and second person pronouns are not.  For example, in French,  First person singular je ('I'), me ('me')  Second person singular (familiar) tu, te ('you')  First person plural nous ('we', 'us')  Second person plural vous ('you')  Third person possessives leur ('their') and son/sa/ses ('his'/'her'/'its'/'their')  are all gender-inclusive; but  Third person pronouns il ('he'), le ('him'), ils ('they', referring to an all-male or mixed-gender group) are all masculine.  Third person pronouns elle ('she'), la ('her') and elles ('they', referring to an all-female group) are all feminine.  In some languages (including most modern Germanic languages) this distinction is neutralised in the plural: English and Modern Russian both have gender-inclusive forms for the third person plural pronouns: 'they'/'them' and они (oni).  Where a language has grammatical gender, gendered pronouns are sometimes used according to the grammatical gender of their antecedent, as French il ('he') for le livre ('the book' - masculine), whereas in Spanish, el libro is also masculine, but it would not be considered correct to refer to it by using the masculine pronoun él. Instead, something such as "Where is the book?" "It is on the table", would be rendered as "¿Dónde está el libro?" "Está sobre la mesa" where the pronoun is omitted. However, when the pronoun is used as a direct object, gender-specific forms reappear in Spanish. The sentence I can't find it. (always referring to the masculine noun libro (book) would be No lo encuentro, whereas if I can't find it refers to a magazine (revista in Spanish, which is feminine) then the sentence would be No la encuentro. 8
  9. 9. Icelandic  Icelandic uses a similar system to other Germanic languages in distinguishing three 3rd-person genders in the singular - hann (masculine gender), hún (feminine gender), það (neuter gender). However it also uses this three-way distinction in the plural: þeir (m. only), þær (f. only), þau (n., which includes mixed gender). It is therefore possible to be gender-specific in all circumstances should one wish - although of course þau can be used for gender-inclusiveness. Otherwise the form used is determined grammatically (i.e., by the gender of the noun replaced). In general statements the use of menn could be preferable as it is less specific than þau. ( 9
  10. 10. Norwegian  In Norwegian a new word is proposed, hin ('sie' or 'hir') to fill the gap between the third person pronouns hun ('her') and han ('him'). Hin is used, but in limited groups; it is not yet embraced by society as a whole. One can also use man or en or den (en means 'one'). These three are considered impersonal. ( 10
  11. 11. Swedish  In some dialects of the Swedish language there is a word hän (borrowed from Finnish) that means either han ('he') or hon ('she').It has spread to hacker slang. Some more common gender-inclusive pronouns however are hen ('he'/'she') and henom ('him'/'her').[The Swedish Language Council recommends den ('it') for third person singular of indefinite gender. However, large parts of the Swedish LGBT community consider this a derogatory term, since it implies that the person referred to is linguistically equated with a lifeless thing. Instead the terms hen and henom is preferred if one wants to refer to someone without a definite placement inside the binary system of masculine and feminine.  ( 11
  12. 12. Japanese  Written Japanese underwent a transition similar to Chinese when an archaic demonstrative kare (彼) was resurrected to translate the 'he' of European languages, while a word kanojo (彼女) was invented to translate 'she'. In the spoken language, the words carry the connotation of boyfriend and girlfriend respectively, and instead ano hito (あの人, literally 'that person') is used in those cases where a pronoun is required. Unlike Western languages, pronouns in Japanese are a type of nouns rather than a distinct class.  Nevertheless, pronouns in Japanese usually have traditionally carried a strong gender connotation (though it has somewhat weakened nowadays), even first-person ones. For instance, ore (俺 or オレ) or boku (僕 or ボク) is used as 'I'/'me' mainly by men (women have begun using boku nowadays), while watashi (私 or わ たし) or atashi (あたし or アタシ) is used by females.  ( 12
  13. 13. Novial 13  Novial (Nov International Auxiliari Lingue) is an international auxiliary language created by Otto Jespersen(1928), a linguist from Denmark. Jespersen recognized a need for an international auxiliary language and thought there were many problems with Esperanto. With Novial he tried to cure those problems. Novial was designed to be easy to learn with vocabulary taken mainly from Germanic and Romance languages, and grammar based mainly on English.  In Novial the third person pronoun le means 'he' or 'she' or 'it'. There are also the gender-specific pronouns lo, la and lu ('he', 'she', and 'it', respectively). Each has a corresponding plural les, los, las and lus all translated as 'they' in English. (
  14. 14. Gender Differences in Language Use (Tannen‟s views) MALE .Avoid eye contact Physical Orientation .Talk for status Status&Connection .From decision to discussion Directness&Indirectness .Talkative in public, quiet in private Public&Private talk .Fight for fun Ritual Opposition .‟Trouble talk‟ avoided, would not put status in risk Conversational Style ( 13
  15. 15. Gender Differences in Language Use (Tannen‟s views) FEMALE PHYSICAL ORENTATION Use eyes contact Talk for solidarity STATUS&CONNECTION From discussion to decision DIRECTNESS&INDIRECTNESS Quiet in public, talkative in private PUBLIC&PRIVATE TALK May fight, but not for fun RITUAL OPPOSITION „Trouble talk‟ used to create rapport CONVERSATIONAL STYLE 14 14
  16. 16. Holmes (1998)  Holmes (1998) suggested some testable claims of what she named „sociolinguistic universal tendencies‟. The followings are five of them:  Women and men develop different patterns of language use  Women tend to focus on the affective functions of an interaction more than men do.  Women tend to use linguistic devices that stress solidarity more than men do.  Women tend to interact in ways which will maintain and increase solidarity; yet, men (especially in formal context) tend to interact in ways which will maintain and increase their power and status.  Women are stylistically more flexible than men. 15
  17. 17. George Keith and John Shuttleworh  George Keith and John Shuttleworh (2008) in „Living Language‟ (p.222) suggest that:  women - talk more than men, talk too much, are more polite, are indecisive/hesitant, complain and nag, ask more questions, support each other, are more co- operative  men - swear more, don't talk about emotions, talk about sport more, talk about women and machines in the same way, insult each other frequently, are competitive in conversation, dominate conversation, speak with more authority, give more commands, interrupt more. 16
  18. 18. Jennifer Coates  Jennifer Coates (1993) claims that ;  Men will often reject a topic of conversation introduced by women while women will accept the topics introduced by men  Men discuss „male‟ topics e.g. business, sport, politics, economics  Women are more likely to initiate conversation than men, but less likely to make the conversation succeed 17
  19. 19. Robin Lakoff  Robin Lakoff in his book „Language and Woman‟s Place (1975) and in a related article, he published some claims that women;  Speak less frequently  Show they are listening by using minimal responses mm, yeah  Speak more quietly than men and tend to use the higher pitch range of their voices  Use hyper-correct grammar and pronunciation: Standard English  Use a greater range of intonation and „speak in italics‟: so, very, quite.  Use question intonation in declarative statements: women make declarative statements into questions by raising the pitch of their voice at the end of a statement, expressing uncertainty.  Overuse qualifiers: (for example, “I think that...”)  Hedge: using phrases like “sort of”, “kind of”, “it seems like”.  Use super-polite forms: “Would you mind...”,“I'd appreciate it if...”, “...if you don't mind”.  Apologise more: (for instance, “I'm sorry, but I think that...”)  Use tag questions: “You're going to dinner, aren't you?”  Have a special lexicon: e.g. women use more words for colours, men for sports 18
  20. 20. Social Structures: Masculinity and Femininity female language male and female language male language  the majority of people use a combination of male and female language females only some females, some males males only 19
  21. 21. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech Examples/exercise:  A man talks to a man: Lets get hammered! (short, vulgar, NOT impolite) I don„t like this topic at all. (formal behaviour, audience, statement) He was a hell of a man! (talking about s.o., compliment) 20
  22. 22. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech  A woman talks to a woman: Let„s meet for a make up party next saturday. (informative, polite) Do you mind if we change the topic. (formal behaviour, audience, politeness) The guy I met in the elevator had a very bad attitude. (honest, polite, bad experience) 21
  23. 23. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech  A man talks to a woman Would you like to have another drink? (polite, playing a role, thinking of own interest) We will discuss the topic tomorrow if you don„t mind. (politeness, formality, audience) He is a very strange person. (covering own antipathy with politeness) 22
  24. 24. REASONS FOR COMMUNICATION WOMEN .More inclined to use conversation to establish and maintain relationships .‟‟Talking is the essence of relationship‟‟ .Most common theme: EMPATHY .‟To know you are not alone‟ MEN .To get practical tips, or offer them to others. .Conversations are fast-paced and tend to stay on the surface. .Direct and practical, straight to the point. 23
  25. 25. OPPOSITE GENDER CONVERSATIONS  Women and men describe topics discussed by opposite sex as ‘trivial’ Men think women: - Ask for too much details, - Give too much details - Focus too much on feelings and emotions .on the other hand, women want to talk about important things such as: How are they getting along 24
  26. 26. Why are women more chatty ?  Researchers found the so-called 'language protein' that makes women more talkative also causes male rats to be more vocal than their female cage mates  Researchers have found women have higher levels of Foxp2 protein  Team from University of Maryland found male rats - the chattier gender in rodents - make more of the protein than female  It has been claimed previously that women speak about 20,000 words a day - some 13,000 more than the average man.  Girls learn to speak earlier and more quickly than boys  (http:// precise.html#ixzz2UCVMhqV5) 25
  27. 27. CONCLUSION  Putting into a nutshell, it can be claimed that there are differences in men‟s and women‟s speech since boys and girls are brought up in different ways and they generally fill different roles in society. As the literature shows, there is obviously a difference between men and women and the way, the style they hold their conversations. Men‟s language is clearly different than women‟s. Women are frequently asked why they are not direct, why they seem to be hesitating a lot which make them look uncertain. On the other hand, men tend to raise topics more frequently than women do; men tend to use conversation to swap information, instead of building up intimacy or community, unlike women. A possible explanation for this might be laying in the evolution we had and the different tasks assigned to men and women. 26
  28. 28. REFERENCES  Holmes, J. (1998). Women‟s Talk: The Question of Sociolinguistic Universal.  Jeniffer, C. (1993).Women, Men and Language (originally published 1986, 2nd edition 1993) Harlow: Longman.  Jespersen, Otto (1928). An international language. London: Allen & Unwin  Keith, G. and J. Shuttleworth (2008). Living Language and Literature, 2nd ed. Hoddler Education.  Lakoff, R. (1975). Language and Women’s Place. New York: Harper & Row.  Meyerhoff, M.( 2006). Introducing Sociolinguistics. London/NY: Routledge  Why are women more chatty? Retrived from: http:// 2281891/Women-really-talk-men-13-000-words-day- precise.html#ixzz2UCVMhqV5) on 27, May 2013 27
  29. 29. 29  Thank you for bearing with me !