Language and Gender Interaction

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The idea of women employing a register of speech different from that used by men has been around for a long time. The veracity and authenticity of this claim has not been conclusively brought out. Lakoff, Robin (1975) was the first to officially spark off debate about women's language being markedly different from men's.


In fact, Lakoff also goes further to point out that women find themselves in a no win situation; when they use powerless talk they are not taken seriously and when they become assertive they are frowned upon.
This paper is a report on a study carried out to verify whether women indeed employ a register of speech different from that of men. The study also sought to find out if the manner of speech depended on the type of audience being addressed. The audience variables included same sex, mixed sex and an audience younger than the speaker (Children).
The rationale of this study was to provide facts, if any were found to exist, about the issue of gender determined language. More often than not, allegations that are mostly aimed at trying to put women down in the social hierarchy have been made to the effect that it exists. Such allegations have rarely been supported by factual data. This study therefore aimed to gather factual data that could contribute to shedding light on whether women's manner of speaking is different from that of men. This could shed light and give direction to the debate.
The main thrust of gender-based analyses of language has been the norm-and-devia ...
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