The Relationship Between Gender And Language

2398 words - 10 pages

The book An Intorduction of Sociolinguistics is an outstanding introductary book in the field of sociolinguistics. It encompasses a wide range of language issues. In chapter 13, Wardhaugh provides a good insight to the relationship between language and gender. He explains gender differences of language-in-use with concise examples. Wardhaugh riases questions about sexist language and guides readers to look closer at how people use language differently because of their own gender in daily life. According to the Whorfian hypothesis, which indicates that the way people use language reflects their thoughts, different genders adapt different communication strategies.

Wardhaugh states different social norms defining the standards of being men or women, which has a profound influence on the language behavior shown by different genders. In other words, both men and women should possess the ability to show either masculinity or feminity through the language they use. When this ability overlaps with the other gender, however, one might be considered as as outsider of their own gender. He then lists the main differences between males and femals with the connection with language: genetic differences, social differences (e.g. various roles people take within a certain society), and linguistic differences (e.g. speech style and word choice). Doing so, he gives readers an indepth idea about how gender differences link to various language behaviors. He further explains how these differences are possibly created and constructed in society. Wardhaugh also examines a few common gender stereotypes, such as women talk more than men, and proves most of the stereotypes are wrong.

Pop music is the main media of spreading values and belifes to the public. Therefore, lyrics writing is a form of written language that revealing the thoughts of lyric writers. How the writers construct their identity with their own gender and how they value their own and the other gender would be coded while writing lyrics. In this paper, a few lyrics related to gender will be analyzed to demonstrate how gender stereotypes are enciphered. The explanations and theories that Wardhaugh provides in the book will be examined to five selected lyrics of Amrican pop music to clarify the relationship of language and gender. Furthermore, this lyrics analysis will only based on the language the songwriters use, not include the original intentions or any other element of the example songs.

The English language possesses a gender system that uses certain nouns (such as man and women) and pronouns (such as he and she) to refer to the gender of a subject. Gender differences are demonstrated in many physical and linguistic aspects of society. Being sexist enables the inequality of one gender over the other. Sexist language represents inequality between males and females in two main ways: the inherently sexist language system, and the sexist usage of the language (Wareing, 2004). Generally speaking,...

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