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At the same time, sociolinguistics provided mechanisms for the scientific investigation of language variation on the basis of both socio-economic and gender factors.With respect to a number of sociolinguistic factors including gender these studies investigated linguistic features such as phonological variability of male and female differences.In this article I will ask the additional question whether the differences are related specifically to gender or, alternatively, to status and power.
The quantitative and qualitative approaches were judged differently by various sociolinguistic scholars (cf.
the following table): One of the major criticisms of quantitative studies regarding the gender variable is related to methodological considerations.
In particular, Labov and Trudgill would assign socio-economic status to women on the basis of masculine norms, thus, skewing the interpretation of the data in the direction of the male variable.
Coates/Cameron (19) remark that "men's linguistic behavior is seen as normal; when women's differs, it has to be explained".
:3) asks the question whether women and men talk differently at all.
She then proceeds to collect evidence for this claim trying to establish in what way these two groups differ, and finally providing explanations for these differences.
[The] tag gives the addressee leeway, not forcing him [sic] to go along with the views of the speaker.
(Lakoff 19) Furthermore, she claims that downtoning a statement shows lack of confidence.
(based on Trudgill 19) These quantitative studies on the relationship between gender and variable language use are contrasted with qualitative (interpretive) approaches.
In her seminal publications Lakoff (1972, 1973, 1975) claimed that the differential use of language needed to be explained in large part on the basis of women's subordinate social status and the resulting social insecurity.
Lakoff observed that women's use of color terms (mauve, ecru, lavender), of adjectives (divine, adorable), their frequent use of tag-questions (John is here, isn't he?Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating