languagegender - LANGUAGE AND GENDER: DIFFERENCE, POWER,...

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LANGUAGE AND GENDER: DIFFERENCE, POWER, PERFORMANCE
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Edward Sapir (1884-1939)
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Language, gender, and power in Yana: Sapir’s Pioneering Analysis DIFFERENCES IN LINGUISTIC FORM 1. Verb forms distinguishing gender: ni- "male goes" 'a "female goes" bu-ri - "a man dances" dja-ri "a woman dances" ("probably reflects an actual difference in the style of dancing“) 2. Full/male form: used by males speaking to males vs. reduced/female form: used by females in speaking to males or females, and by males in speaking to females FULL REDUCED 'au-na "fire" 'au ' "fire" (and many similar examples) 'au-'nidja "my fire" ' au-'nitc' "my fire" k!u:wi "medicine man" k!u:w i "medicine man" (many similar examples) - numa "2S" -nu "2S" (etc.) Sapir (1929) "Male and Female Forms of Speech in Yana“ [a language spoken in north-eastern California; Ishi’s language, Yahi, was closely related to Yana]
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Gender and Power: Sapir’s Key Insight "Possibly the reduced female forms constitute a conventionalized symbolism of the less considered or ceremonious status of women in the community. Men, in dealing with men, speak fully and deliberately; where women are concerned, one prefers a clipped style of utterance!” (Sapir 1929, “Male and female forms of speech in Yana”)
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Elinor Ochs
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Elinor Ochs on Language, Gender and Power A. Influential early work: Ochs Keenan (1979) re Malagasay of Madagascar Men use kabary (elaborate, metaphorical, indirect, polite, inefficient, valued) Women use resaka (simple, literal, direct, rude, gets things done, devalued) (The ideology of gendered usage in Malagasay-speaking communities is nearly the opposite of the ideology of gendered usage in USMWE)
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Elinor Ochs on Language and Gender B. Ochs’ (1992) work comparing Samoan and American Middle-Class mothers Message Production Strategies : American: "Motherese," Baby Talk, "Proto-conversation" "accomodation to child's perceived wants and needs" Samoan: No simplified register, "Proto-conversation," or similar "accomodation" to child Interpretive Strategies American: Expressed guesses "take the child's point of view" Samoan: Delay communicative exchanges until child shows competence and is intelligible Praising Strategies American: Child is praised without mention of mother's role (maternal "invisibility") Samoan: Expectation of "bidirectional" praise or mālō exchange: "There is a strong expectation that the first one to be praised will in turn praise the praiser"
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Elinor Ochs on Language and Gender C. Recent work on Middle-Class families supported by Sloan Foundation ( Exemplified for us in Ochs & Taylor (1995) ‘The "Father knows best" dynamic in White U.S. middle-class dinner-table conversations’ Distribution of " narrative roles " advances fathers as superior: 1) Fathers are invited to evaluate behavior of narrative "protagonists" (children (60%), mothers (23%), fathers (19%)who are "presented as a topic for comment“ 2) Mothers are "introducers" who direct attention to protagonists
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This note was uploaded on 05/06/2009 for the course ANTH 276 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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languagegender - LANGUAGE AND GENDER: DIFFERENCE, POWER,...

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