2. GENDER AND AGE
AGE - GRADED
FEATURES OF SPEECH
SOCIAL DIALEC DATA
1 2 3 4
5 6 7
3. Women and men do not speak in exactly the same way as each other in any community.
If they come from the same tribe, they may speak different language to each other.
And if their community use a language that shared by women and men, it may have
small different features in pronunciation or word-shape (morphology).
GENDER-EXCLUSIVE SPEECH DIFFERENCES: HIGHLY STRUCTURED COMMUNITIES
4. Women and men do not use completely different forms. They use different quantities or
frequencies of the same forms. In all the English-speaking cities where speech data has
been collected, for instance, women use more - ing pronunciations and fewer -in
pronunciations than men in words like swimming and typing. In Sydney, some women and
men pronounce the initial sound in thing as [f], but the men use this pronunciation more
than the women. Both the social and the linguistic patterns in these communities are
gender-preferential. Though both women and men use particular forms, one gender
shows a greater preference from them than the other.
In all these examples, women tend to use more of the standard forms than men do, while
men use more of the vernacular forms than women do.
GENDER-PREFERENTIAL SPEECH FEATURES: SOCIAL DIALECT RESEARCH.
5. GENDER AND SOCIAL
The linguistic features Which differ in the speech of women and men in Western Communities
are usually features which also distinguish The speech of people from different social classes.
Figure 7.1 vernacular [in] by sex and social group in Norwich
6. GENDER AND SOCIAL
In every social class, men use more vernacular forms than woman.
Women's speech is closer To that of the men in the same group than to that of women in
other groups. Therefore class membership seems to be more important than gender identity.
7. Across all social groups, women generally use more standard forms then man who use more
GENDER AND SOCIAL
Men vernacular [in]
Women standard [in]
I don't know nothing about it.
I don't know anything about it.
8. EXPLANATIONS OF WOMEN’S LINGUISTIC BEHAVIOUR
Why can’t a woman be more like a man ?
Why do women use more standard forms than man ?
9. EXPLANATIONS OF WOMEN’S LINGUISTIC BEHAVIOUR
1. The Social Status Explanation
Some linguists have suggested that women use more standard speech forms
than men because they are more status – conscious than men. The claim is that
women are more aware of the fact that the way they speak signals their social
class background or social status in the community. So, women use more
standard speech forms as a way of claiming such status.
10. EXPLANATIONS OF WOMEN’S LINGUISTIC BEHAVIOUR
2. Woman’s Role As Guardian Of Society’s Values
…………., she warned them that they would become “ semi – barbarous ”. She begged
them to have a ‘lay figure of lady, carefully draped, set up in their usual sitting-room,
and always behave before it as if it was their mother’.
11. EXPLANATIONS OF WOMEN’S LINGUISTIC BEHAVIOUR
3. Subordinate Group Must Be Polite
‘You are an intolerable bore Mr. Brown. Why don’t you simply shut up and let
someone speak who has more interesting ideas to contreibute.’
12. Vernacular forms express machismo
• Men prefer vernacular form because they carry macho connotations of masculinity and
• How are women categorized? :
• In assigning women in particular social class, researchers in early social dialect studies often
used the woman’s husband’s occupation as their major criterion. Reflected their social
• The Influence of the interviewer and the context :
• Men the other hand tend to be less responsive to the speech of others, and to their
conversational need In such circumstances it is likely that the interview context. This to might
accound for men’s greater use of vernacular forms. In one of the earliest diealect surveys, the
male interviewers asked different question of women and men in order to eicit a casual style of
speech in which vernacular forms where more likely to occur.
13. Age Grade and Language Change
In linguistics, age-graded variation is differences in speech habits within a community that are associated with
age. Age-grading occurs when individuals change their linguistic behavior throughout their lifetimes, but the
community as a whole does not change.
• Age-grading and the apparent-time hypothesis
Age-graded variation stands in contrast to the apparent-time hypothesis, which assumes that an individual’s
vernacular does not change once they are past adolescence.
According to the apparent-time hypothesis, age-stratified variation is often indicative of a linguistic change in
progress. For example, if in a survey of a population, patterned differences between the speech of individuals
75 years old, 50 years old, and 25 years old may indicate changes that have occurred over the past 50 years.
This presents a problem when studying age-graded variation because age-grading relies on individuals
changing their speech patterns throughout their lives. The applicability of age-graded variation should be
confirmed by real-time evidence. This can come from a longitudinal study, which tracks the same people.
14. Language Change
• Language change is variation over time in a language's phonological, morphological, semantic,
syntactic, and other features. It is studied by historical linguistics and evolutionary linguistics. Some
commentators use the label corruption to suggest that language change constitutes a degradation in
the quality of a language, especially when the change originates from human error or prescriptively
discouraged usage. Descriptive linguistics typically does not support this concept, since from a
scientific point of view such changes are neither good nor bad.
c. Language Contact
d. Geographic Separation
e. Cultural Environment
15. Types of Language Change
• All languages change continually and do so in many and varied ways. Marcel Cohen details
various types of language change under the overall headings of the external evolution and
internal evolution of languages.
a. Lexical Changes
b. Phonetic and PhonologIcal Changes
c. Spelling Changes
d. Semantics Changes
e. Syntactic Changes
16. Age and social dialect data
• A common pattern shows that the use of vernacular forms is high in childhood and
adolescence. The usage steadily reduces as people approach middle age when social
pressures to conform are greatest. Vernacular usage gradually increases again in old age as
social pressures reduce.