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  1. male/female language Waldemar Mizich

  2. Content • Sex and Gender • Social Structures: Masculinity and Femininity • Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech • Speaking in Reference to Male and Female • Nonverbal, Extra-Linguistic Messages • Sources

  3. Male and Female Differentiation Sex vs. Gender Sex: Sex refers to the male and female duality of biology and reproduction. An organism's sex reflects its biological function in reproduction, not its sexuality or other behavior. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex) Gender: Although "gender" is commonly used interchangeably with "sex," within the academic fields of cultural studies, gender studies and the social sciences in general, the term "gender" often refers to purely social rather than biological differences. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender)

  4. Social Structures: Masculinity and Femininity Masculinity: Masculinity refers to qualities and behaviors judged by a particular culture to be ideally associated with or especially appropriate to men and boys. Distinct from maleness, which is a biological and physiological classification concerned with the reproductive system, masculinity principally refers to socially acquired traits and secondary sex characteristics. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masculinity) Cicero: "a man's chief quality is courage"

  5. Social Structures: Masculinity and Femininity Femininity: Femininity refers to qualities and behaviors judged by a particular culture to be ideally associated with or especially appropriate to women and girls. Distinct from femaleness, which is a biological and physiological classification concerned with the reproductive system, femininity principally refers to socially acquired traits and secondary sex characteristics. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Femininity) In western culture: gentleness, patience, kindness • Consideration of different societies and their definition of Femininity and Masculinity

  6. Social Structures: Masculinity and Femininity • Masculinity and Femininity are relative terms: - some women have more muscle than some men - some women weigh more than some men - some men have finer hand movement than some women - some men are more patience than some women - some women are more courageous than some men examples: rainforrest, Japan

  7. 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

  8. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech Slyles of speech are influenced by many factors such as: - geographical dimensions (place) - temporal dimensions (age, time) - context of situation (the how, when, where, the who with, the what, under what circumstances) Influence by gender: one must consider: • The gender of the speaker • The gender of the hearer • The gender of the audience • The gender of the person referred to or spoken of

  9. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech Examples/exercise: • A man talks to a man: „Lets get sloshed!“ (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)

  10. 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)

  11. 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)

  12. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech • A woman talks to a man „You should hurry up honey.“ (indicating time pressure, polite, hidden information) „I will announce my decision tomorrow at 2 pm.“ (formal, audience, informative) „It was an interesting experience to meet him.“ (polite description of a bad experience, hiding emotions)

  13. exercise Pretend to be the opposite sex than you are and write a short message to your boy/girlfriend using female/male language. Explain what makes your message sound like a man/woman.

  14. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech • Each sex is bilingual - not two languages but two different ways of speaking • formal • vernacular - the more you use fomal language the more it becomes a part of your vernacular, not vice versa

  15. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech • Difference in treating infants and talking to them - different responses Examples: • A father (low voice) speaking to his little son „Come here, you little nut!“ „Hey fruitcake!“ Respond (low voice) of the son: „Yes dad.“ • A father (low voice) speaking to his little daughter „Come here princess.“ „Who is daddy‘s sunshine?“ Respond (low voice) of the daughter: „I‘m coming daddy.“

  16. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech • A mother (high voice) speaking to her son: „Come here Franky.“ Respond (high voice) of the son: „I‘m coming mummy.“ • A mother (high voice) speaking to her daughter: „Would you like an apple Anna?“ Respond (high voice) of the daughter: „Yes mummy.“

  17. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech Tags: • Women use tags differently than man women: • Use facilitative tags, which have no informational function but an important interactional function more often than men „Quite a nice room to sit in actually, isn‘t it.“ • Expressing personal opinion and value-judgement, does not require confirmation from anyone else men: • Use tags to acquire information in the first place „You were in Canada last year, weren‘t you?“ • Mentioning a fact, which you already know, asking for further information about this fact

  18. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech Baby talk: Used to show a certain relationship or to control another human being. - women use it more frequently than males • mothers may use it to sons longer than to their daughters • men may use it to their car, or their gun, or when they are drunk • fathers may use it to their small daughters

  19. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech Patronizing: (male stereotype) Often used with children, the mentally incompetent, hospitalized patients, females • Anchorman introduces a female newscaster as „lovely Jane Doe.“ • Female reporter completed her part, the anchorman acknowledges it with, „Thank you, dear!“ • You wouldn‘t use it to a professional colleague • However: can be considered as a complement as well • Pattern is reversed when a man becomes ill

  20. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech Explanations: (male stereotype) Men are forever explaning things to women. • Men as givers of information, not receivers • dominates conversation Language of apology: (more used by women) Women are always asking for pardon, whether or not they are to blame for something is not the issue. But: Conversational Rituals, therefore also used by men

  21. Speaking in Reference to Male and Female How is you „Father“? „He“ is fine. Where is your „Mother“? „She“ is in the bedroom. Where is my „book“? „It‘s“ on the desk. I met Alex yesterday. „We“ played ball. Where are Ben and Kelly? „They“ are still at school. Non-specific persons: Someone tried to get in, didn‘t (he, she, they)? Someone owes you money, doesn‘t (she, he, they)?

  22. Speaking in Reference to Male and Female Explanation: • Dinosaur Syndrome Dinosaurs come in both sexes. We still refer to a Dinosaur as “he”. “when we say ‘he,’ we mean both sexes”

  23. Nonverbal, Extra-Linguistic Messages Paralanguage: Comprises all extra-speech sounds or modifications of speech. These may be separate sounds such as whistling, yelling, or ‚tsk-tsk‘. Paralanguage may also consist of modifying features accompanying speech in the way of quality of voice, pitch, or loudness – vocal expressions that add emotional and attitudinal meaning to the verbal expression. (Key, 1996)

  24. Nonverbal, Extra-Linguistic Messages Examples: Biologically conditioned: • High pitch, thin quality of a woman’s voice = like that of a child Socially conditioned: • female behavior often coincides with children’s behavior - Women use a higher than usual pitch to indicate innocence, femininity, and helplessness • men use an exaggerated low pitch to signal masculinity • teen-age boys lower their pitch to appear tough • Imitation of the other sex „Yes dear, I‘ll be down in a minute“ imitated by a man „Aw, just one more little drink.“ imitated by a woman • Whistle to call someone

  25. Nonverbal, Extra-Linguistic Messages Kinesics: Is body language, any movement from muscular or skeletal shift. These body movements result in such acts as postural expression, facial expression, and gestures. (Key 1996) • Can hardly be described in general • Consideration of temporal and cross-cultural differences Example: children’s games, certain hand movements

  26. Nonverbal, Extra-Linguistic Messages Postural behavior: Women: • women very often tilt their heads (i.e. greeting) - convey an attitude of coyness or submissiveness • closed legs when sitting - clothes effect the walking and sitting posture (i.e. mini skirt) Men: • men stand and sit with their legs apart

  27. Nonverbal, Extra-Linguistic Messages facial expressions: • Men and women interprete these aspects of communication in the same way • Provide important social and emotional information • Indicate positive and negative mood signs mouth: • women smile more than men throughout their lifetime eye contact: • The meeting of eyes arouses strong emotions • Different meaning in different cultures

  28. sources • http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-language/ • Mary Ritchie, Key. 1996. Male/Female Language: With a Comprehenssive Bibliography 2nd ed. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press • Wolfram, Walt and Natalie Schilling-Estes. 1998. American English. Dialects and Variation. Oxford: Blackwell • Ronald, Wardhaugh. 1998. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Blackwell • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masculinity • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Femininity • Deborah, Tannen. 1995. Talking from 9 to 5. London: Virago Press • Coates & Cameron. 1991. Women in their speech communities. London: Longman