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LING 2410 LANGUAGE AND GENDER MIDTERM #1 Language Use; Language as Representation - Language is non-neutral → It’s biased and non-transparent, so we cannot see some ‘objective truth’ or reality in language - Language reflects and constructs reality constructs how we see social realties (Language reflects andro-centric, sexist reality; at the same time it constructs- and reproduces--andro-centrism and sexism. - Feminist linguists aim is to change language and, therefore, representation, through language reform. Proverbs, Quotations and Folk-Linguistic Beliefs - Prescriptive → refers to how men and women should speak - Prescriptive ideas for women have been set in etiquette books - 19 th century→ facilitate questions for men, listen rather then speak - Assertiveness training courses for women - Folk Linguistic→ ideas about how men and women do speak (apparently different). Proverbs refer to ‘Folk Linguistic’ beliefs - Proverbs examples: - “Women are nine times more talkative than men” - “Many women, many words, many geese, many turds” - “Three women together make a theatrical performance” - No evidence for women verbosity - Negative representations and evaluation of women’s talk is not concerned with the amount of manner but where/who the speech is directed to/about (content). - Gender stereotypes introduced/reinforced through popular culture ex newspapers: - Letters to newspapers; Anonymous (1756) – complains of women’s excessive use of certain adverbial forms (vastly,horridly,immensely etc.) - Scholarly work; Otto Jespersen (1922)- chapter in book ‘the woman’ →women have smaller vocab; show extensive use of certain adjectives, adverbs; don’t finish sentences b/c they begin to talk without knowing what to say; produce less complex sentences. Academic work on gender and language - Sex-exclusive→ features used only by women, or only by men, within a given speech community (rare) - Sex-preferential→ (differential tendencies) ways in which women and men tend to talk differently from each other in a given context. - Mary Haas “ Men and women’s speech in Kosati” - Men and women speech differ - differences usually arbitrary → however at times women speech is way more archaic then that of men. - Differences are confined to certain indicative and imperative forms of verbal paradigm
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- Age involved, middle aged and elderly spoke only using their sex- specific forms. - Members of both sexes are familiar with both types of speech and can use either as occasion demands. Milroy’s Unit’s of Measurement - Density→ Concerns the number of social links an individual has (ex. School friends, workmates,colleagues,family) - Mulitplexity→ Builds on density, concerns the number of roles within links (ex. You know someone as a colleague and schoolmate)
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course WMST 2410 taught by Professor Blondeau during the Spring '08 term at York University.

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