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ERIC Number: ED262599
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Search for Sex Differences in the Language of 10 Year Olds and Adults.
Becker, Judith A.; Hamrick, M. Jean
Controversial claims made about characteristics of "women's speech" are examined in a comparison of certain aspects of the language used by 17 ten-year-olds (9 boys and 8 girls) and 20 adults (10 men and 10 women, mean age 20.0 years), all native speakers of English. The subjects were asked to pretend to speak on the telephone to a person of designated status (higher, equal, lower) and degree of familiarity (familiar and unfamiliar), and to make a particular type of request (borrow or return an item). Eight dependent speech variables were assessed: hesitations, including speech disfluencies such as errors and fillers; hedges and modifiers such as "sort of" and "I think"; tag questions such as "...okay?"; the number of words uttered in each situation; syntactic directness; and empty and neutral adjectives such as "sweet" and "good." Four statistical analyses were performed to determine any effects of sex on language. None revealed any significant main effects or interactions of sex in either children or adults, contradicting previous assertions. Further research on factors such as relative speaker status, conversational situation, and other speech characteristics as they relate to sex differences is recommended. A three-page reference list is appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A