6. Sex and Gender
• Sex: An aspect of one’s biological makeup
• Biological differences
• Gender: One’s sense of being male or female
and playing masculine or feminine roles in
ways defined as appropriate by one’s culture
• Social differences
7. Language and gender
is there any connection, between the
structures, vocabularies, and ways of
using particular languages of the men
and women ?
. Do the men and women use language
in different ways?
8. The literature on these issues is now vast;
it has been one of the biggest ‘growth’
areas within sociolinguistics in recent
gender is ‘not . . . a pool of attributes
“possessed” by a person, but . . .
something a person “does.” ‘That
language-learning is almost inevitably
tied to gender-learning?
9. ‘That language-learning is almost
inevitably tied to gender-learning?
• Females have two X chromosomes
whereas males have an X and a Y;
• is a key genetic difference
10. • On average, females have more fat and
less muscle than males,
• Females are not as strong as males ,
• The female voice usually has different
characteristics from the male voice,
11. • Numerous observers have described
women’s speech as being different from
that of men
• women’s speech is trivial (see the
denial in Kipers, 1987), gossip-laden,,
illogical, idle, euphemistic or deficient
12. • Men indulge in a kind of phatic small
talk that involves insults, challenges,
and various kinds of negative behavior
to do exactly what women do by their
use of nurturing, polite, feedback-laden,
cooperative talk. In doing this, they
achieve the kind of solidarity they prize.
It is the norms of behavior that are
13. • Margaret Thatcher voice did not match her
position as British Prime Minister:
• she sounded too ‘shrill.’
• She was advised to lower the pitch of her
• diminish its range,
• and speak more slowly, and
• thereby adopt an authoritative, almost
monotonous delivery to make herself heard.
15. • Haas (1944) observed that in Koasati,
an Amerindian language spoken in
southwestern Louisiana, among other
gender-linked differences, men often
pronounced an s at the end of verbs but
women did not, e.g., male lakáws ‘he is
lifting it’ and female lakáw.
17. • 1a. Oh dear, you’ve put the peanut
butter in the refrigerator again.
• 1b. Shit, you’ve put the peanut butter in
the refrigerator again.
• 2a. What a terrific idea!
• 2b. What a divine idea!
18. Reality check (1)
• women - talk more
than men, talk too
much, are more polite,
complain and nag, ask
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, .Living Language (2000) by
George Keith and John
19. Women’s language
• Hedge: using phrases like “sort of”, “kind of”, “it seems
like”,and so on. I think so ,,, I suppose
• Use (super)polite forms: “Would you mind...”,“I'd
appreciate it if...”, “...if you don't mind”.
• Use tag questions: “You're going to dinner, aren't you?”
• Speak in italics: intonational emphasis equal to underlining
words - so, very, quite.
• Use empty adjectives: divine, lovely, adorable, and so on
• Use hypercorrect grammar and pronunciation: English
prestige grammar and clear pronunciation.
20. • Use direct quotation: men paraphrase more
• Have a special lexicon: women use more
words for things like colours, mauve, beige,
aquamarine, lavender, and magenta but most
men do not. men for sports.
• 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. For example, “What
school do you attend? Eton College?”
21. • Use “wh-” imperatives: (such as, “Why
don't you open the door?”)
• Overuse qualifiers: (for example, “I
• Apologise more: (for instance, “I'm
sorry, but I think that...”)
• Use modal constructions: (such as can,
would, should, ought - “Should we turn
up the heat?”)
22. • Avoid coarse language or expletives
• Use indirect commands and requests:
(for example, “My, isn't it cold in here?”
- really a request to turn the heat on or
close a window)
23. • Use more intensifiers: especially so and
very (for instance, “I am so glad you
• Lack a sense of humour: women do not
tell jokes well and often don't
understand the punch line of jokes
24. • the English language makes certain
distinctions of a gender-based kind,
e.g., actor–actress, waiter–waitress,
• Other pairs of words which reflect
similar differentiation are boy–girl, man–
woman, gentleman–lady, bachelor–
spinster, and even widower–widow.
25. Reality check (1)
• Letter carrier
• Police men
• Police officer
Living Language (2000) by
George Keith and John
26. • tends to reflect social structure and
social structure is changing, so that
judgeships, surgical appointments,
nursing positions, and primary school
teaching assignments are just as likely
to be held by women as men (or by
men as women), such changes might
be expected to follow inevitably.
27. • Lakoff says that women may answer a
question with a statement that employs
the rising intonation pattern usually
associated with a question rather than
the falling intonation pattern associated
with making a firm statement. According
to Lakoff, women do this because they
are less sure about themselves and
their opinions than are men.
28. • women often add tag questions to
statements, e.g., ‘They caught the
robber last week, didn’t they?’ These
claims about tag questions and
insecurity have been tested by others
• Women are also often named, titled,
and addressed differently from men.
29. Titles are discriminatory
• Ms, Mrs, Miss Mr
• by such terms as lady, miss, or dear,
and even baby or babe. Barbie doll
• Generic ‘he’ and ‘man’
– Man has been civilized for centuries. He no longer
needs to hunt for food for his women and children.
• Animal/food imagery
– Bitch, chick,
– Sugar, honey, sweetie
Women are also said not to employ the
profanities and obscenities men use,
30. • Women are also sometimes required to
be silent in situations in which men may
speak. Among the Araucanian Indians
of Chile, men are encouraged to talk on
all occasions, but the ideal wife is silent
in the presence of her husband, and at
gatherings where men are present she
should talk only in a whisper, if she talks
31. • both genders were represented in the
videos, men spoke twice as much as
women. In the video men and women
also spoke on different topics, with men
holding forth on such topics as
business, politics, legal matters, taxes,
and sports, and women on social life,
books, food and drink, life’s troubles,
32. • Women spoke less forcefully than men,
and men swore much more than
women. Men were also more blunt and
to the point in their speaking. There was
also some evidence that the use of
words like nice and pretty was gender-
• In cross-gender interactions, almost all
the interruptions were from men.
– In meetings
– In doctor-patient interactions
– Parents and children
• Pre-school boys interrupt too.
– Women are socialized from early childhood
to expect to be interrupted.
40. “Gossip is good for women's
• “The research reveals a woman is happier
and healthier if she enjoys a regular chat with
her female friend because it boosts levels of
progesterone, a hormone shown to reduces
levels of anxiety and stress.” (The Telegraph,
June 10, 2009)
42. We hold these truths to be
self-evident: That all men are
- Declaration of Independence, 1776.
43. • that social organization is best
perceived as some kind of hierarchical
set of power relationships.
• Language behavior reflects male
dominance. Men use what power they
have to dominate each other
• men and women are social beings who
have learned to act in certain ways.
44. • women and men have been raised to
live in different subcultures.
45. Language death
• world’s 6,909 known living languages
• A language is dead is like saying that a
person is dead.
• Languages have no existence without people.
• A language dies when nobody speaks it any
• Bruce Connell(1994) went to Mambila region.
Kasabe is spoken.
46. • Only Bogon was left who speaks.
• In 1996 when he visited Mambila again
• Bogon died
• Language also dies
• When you are the last speaker of your
language, your language is already
• A language is really alive only when in
47. Sudden language death
• Sudden language death occurs when a
language abruptly disappears because
• its speakers die or are killed. In such
cases (e.g. Tasmanian; Nicoleño, a
Native American Indian language in
48. Radical language death
• is distinguished by the shift to another
language rather than the complete
disappearance of the speakers of a
language. Probably the most common
cause of language death is when a
community that previously only spoke
one language starts to speak another
one. This is called “language shift”.
49. • The community first becomes bilingual,
not discarding their native tongue, but
soon they start to use the new language
more and more, until their native
language is no longer used.
• Not being able to speak the language
has to do with a form of“atrophy,” i.e.,
the loss of competence in the language
due to lack of practice.
50. Causes of language death
• Economy / Financial
• Political repression/ colonialism
• Natural catastrophe/ Disaster /famines
• War/ Genocide
• Ideological factors
• Ecological factors
51. Economical factors
• One of the most prominent factors is
• success in another language is crucial for
economic survival and advantage.
• Migrations to cities/ countries
• minority languages become associated with
poverty, illiteracy and hardship,
• dominant language is associated with
52. Political factors
• Political factors involve asymmetrical
relations of power.
• Suppression of minority languages
• shift to English by the Norman
conquerors of England in the eleventh
54. War and Genocide
• War and genocide, for example,
Tasmania (Australia) (genocide by
• Brazilian indigenous people (disputes
over land and resource);
• El Salvador (civil war) Salvador ,,,
central America ,,, 1930
• Indian uprising . They killed all Indians
55. Ideological factors
• language diversity only hampers
communication and that world
understanding would actually increase
significantly if everyone spoke the same
language – English.
• “Language loss is . . . mostly a matter of
shift in language loyalty.”
56. Cultural dominance
• Cultural dominance literature and
education in English
• Your own literature folklorised
• Educational policies exclude local
57. Ecological factors
• Ecological factors include geographical
location and physical environment, as
well as population demographics. The
numbers and concentrations of
speakers and their physical proximity to
other groups are important factors in
language maintenance and death.
58. Why to maintain a language
• Language is one of the ways in which
people construct their identities,
• maintaining regional identity is seen as
increasingly important in the era of
59. Language documentation
there are ways to keep a language from
• or to revitalize a dead one.
• The best example is Israel did with
• taking it from a practically extinct
language to one that had a whole new
generation of people who spoke it as
their native language.
61. • With the recovering or revitalization of a
language comes the recovering and
revitalization of a culture and heritage,
so it’s wonderful that people are trying
to do something to stop or at least slow
the deaths of many endangered
62. • English is threatening French in
• France, Belgium, and Switzerland?
• Are there Francophones being driven
out of these countries by Anglophones?
Are there children who find it more
advantageous to acquire English,
rather than French, as their mother
63. • Does the fact that many children in
• these places are learning English at
school as a (preferred) foreign
language endanger their native fluency
64. • languages are like viral species in
biology. They compete with each other
only to the extent that they are weighted
differently by their speakers. They
spread or contract because more, or
fewer, speakers use them, just like their
structures change because their
speakers modify them or prefer some
variants over others.
65. • English is spreading around the world
because there are more and more
people who hope to find better jobs, to
travel to distant places with fewer
communicative problems, to be read by
more and more scholars, etc. that they
can enjoy the same benefits.
66. • Successful scholars, businessmen, and
bureaucrats in non-Anglophone
• countries are models that inspire their
countrymen to invest time and money in
learning it so that they can enjoy the
same benefits .
67. • Governments are promoting the
teaching of English because they want
to have citizens that can handle world
trade and diplomatic matters with these
powerful partners in the dominant
language, at least in the domains that