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ERIC Number: ED142090
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
When Do Ladies Talk Like Ladies?
Menzel, Peter; Tyler, Mary
As Labov points out (1971), language is a social phenomenon, and therefore must be studied in its social context; sex based language differences, being part of language, must be studied in the same way. Specifically, sex based language differences can be studied by modifying the sociolinguists' notion of speech community and speech continuum, and by using their methods of gathering and evaluating data. A three-dimensional space whose axes are formality-informality, specificity as to sex, and specificity as to speech community is substituted for Labov's single continuum. Every utterance of every speaker is placed within this space according to how the social situation is perceived by the speaker. To test this model, the members of an all female bridge club were interviewed in two situations: fairly formal individual, and informal group. It was predicted that the latter would elicit more, and more highly marked "female language" than the former because it is more informal and more sex specific. The former, however, being not sex neutral, would also elicit some female language samples. The data support the model. What is particularly significant is the fact that no such differences had been systematically attested except in our work (cf. Thorne & Henley, 1975). (Author/CLK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the meeting of the Southeast Conference on Linguistics (16th, Greensboro, North Carolina, March, 1977)