Gender Effects Language Use

Submitted By Sophia-Todd
Words: 805
Pages: 4

English Language – Sophia Todd

Explore how far gender effects Language use

Text H is a transcript between two teenage friends,Linda and Ed. The subject is regarding Linda’s trip to see the band 'Stereophonics', and it includes an anecdote about the journey home involving troubles with the car.The purpose of their conversation is interactional,to have a catchup and share information about what has gone on in their lives recently.It is occurring in an informal setting, after their shift at work.

Within the conversation one of the firsts things I noticed was that Linda interrupts Ed fairly frequently.For example,when Ed tries to describe what the problem could have been with the car and says ‘cos you’ve got the jacking points underneath the’, he gets interrupted by Linda who replies ‘well no…’ This happens again when Ed is yet again explaining the jacking points and Linda interrupts saying ‘I have no idea’. One reason for these interruptions could be because Linda isn’t interested in the mechanics of the car, and feels that she couldn't join in with the conversation.These examples Challenge Janet Holmes study- The Dominance model, which claimed that men interrupt 96% of the time. This could also be an example of the 'difference model' by Deborah Tannen, as when Linda said 'took ages (1.0) he changed it for us (.)' she was probably seeking sympathy, rather than advice from Ed. Tannen states that 'Women seek comfort and sympathy for their problems, whilst men will seek a solution to the problem'.

Moreover, within the transcript Linda regularly comes across as unsure and vague. She uses a tag-questions like ‘you know?’, approximations of ‘about five minutes’ and ‘about two o’clock in the morning’ and hedging, for example, ‘I dunno’, ‘maybe’, ‘I have no idea’ and ‘um so yeah’. The fact that these are used to convey a sense of uncertainty and vagueness links to Robin Lakoff theory in The Deficit Model where she states that females are more likely to seem uncertain and vague by suing tag-questions and hedging.However these could also just simply be examples of features that occur in informal spontaneous speech, as Linda hasn't planned what she is going to say. Furthermore throughout the text Ed uses more informal language such as 'cos', which is a contraction.This supports Peter Trudgill's idea that males are more likely to seek 'covert prestige' when communicating.

In the conversation Linda speaks 356 words whereas Ed only speaks 101. This supports Louann Brizendine's idea that women are more verbose than men, using almost three times the amount of words that males do. In addition, Coates (1989) produced evidence that claimed that men try to hold the floor and dominate conversations, however Linda dominates this conversation talking about her experience in great depth. Linda is also talking for the majority of the time, which challenges Holmes findings as she displayed evidence that suggested men speak for longer in a mixed gender conversation. Linda is also the one who manages the topic, for example when she begins to talk about her car tyre being deflated, Ed accepts this change of topic. A contradiction to Pamela Fishmans