Explore How Gender Affects Language Use

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Explore how gender affects language use:

Text G is a conversation between three young males. There are no females in this conversation to show how the two different genders use language, but you can look at the way the males use language. However you cannot really generalize about males, as these males are all young friends who are probably quite similar. One of Robin Lakoffs theories was that women use ‘empty adjectives’ a lot more than men. However, in this conversation, these males do use these, for example, on the second line Jay says, ‘lovely mate’. These adjectives are called empty because they don’t give you any information about what they are describing, they just sort of tell you that it is a good thing. Another of her theories suggested that women use a lot more tag questions, but there are also tag questions in this conversation between three males. Eg. ‘I’m a clerical officer you know’ and ‘I work for Gena Evan’s dad you know’. A tag question is a statement with a question after it and is usually said to generate more conversation and is more associated with women, because women are said to talk more. Robin Lakoff also said that women use polite forms and clear enunciation more often than men. This conversation does support this theory as they use a lot of slang such as ‘cos’. This could also be an effect of their age, as they are obviously young as they are in sixth form and one has a job. There is another theory that conflicts with this conversation, Deborah Jones said that women ‘bitch’ a lot, expressing their anger in private. One of the boys in this conversation is ‘bitching’, he talks about somebody else in anger to the other two boys, ‘I thought you disgusting git (1.0) I was fuming’. This proves that it isn’t just women who bitch and that some men also express their anger in private.
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