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Author Drescher, Nancy L
Title Sex, roles, and register: A corpus-based investigation of sex-linked features in university settings
book jacket
Descript 230 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-11, Section: A, page: 4002
Chair: Susan Fitzmaurice
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Northern Arizona University, 2005
During face-to-face interaction, people do more than exchange information; they also establish and maintain social relationships through the language they use. Discovering and describing how they do this has been part of the research agenda of sociolinguists and discourse analysts for many years. Past research on gender and power roles have identified a limited but informative set of variables that define how men and women in differing status roles use language to achieve their goals while remaining within the confines of the social structure at hand. Together, these variables can be applied to a large body of spoken data for a fuller understanding of talk in interaction
The purpose of the current study was to examine sex, role, and register within an American University setting through the investigation of a variety of variables in a 325,326 word corpus of spoken academic language. Five dimensions were identified and interpreted: Interactional Relationship Building vs. Providing Information, Cooperative interaction, Hedged Opinion, Formally Polite Interaction vs. Person Oriented Stance, and Directive. Analyses of variance were conducted followed by an extensive qualitative examination in order to determine the differences in the use of these dimensions different combinations of speaker/addressee sex and roles (e.g., male student talking to female professor)
Each of the five dimensions is described in depth with a close examination of differences according to sex and role of speaker; sex, role, and number of addressee; and register within which the communication takes place. The complex nature of identity and the components that make up a speaker's identity in different situations are illuminated throughout the analysis. The primary difference that was found in the way men and women speak regardless of role, addressee, and register was within the Hedged-Opinion Dimension. Women used the features in this dimension significantly more often than men, regardless of other independent variables and no other independent variable had significant differences. Men had more frequent low scores (≤-1) across the first three dimension and particularly when in conversation with other men and when speaking to groups, implying that men use a more informational style than women
School code: 0391
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 66-11A
Subject Language, Linguistics
Alt Author Northern Arizona University
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