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    Gender Differences in the Use of Adjectives and Intensifiers Sample Essay

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    IntroductionThe probe of male and female address differences is a major subject in sociolinguistics. The literature on this issue is huge ; it has been one of the biggest within sociolinguistics in recent old ages. A figure of linguists have investigated this field of survey ; among them Robin Lakoff ( 1975 ) . Janet Holmes ( 2001 ) . Deborah Tanen ( 1990 ) . Jennifer Coates ( 1998 ) .

    Susan U. Philips ( 1980 ) and others. 2. Theoretical background
    Robin Lakoff ( 1975 ) is one of the first linguists to turn to gender straight the subject of linguistic communication. Lakoff describes the characteristics of linguistic communication distinguishing men’s and women’s address which she thinks makes women’s address less powerful than men’s ( Philips.

    1980 ) . These characteristics are the undermentioned: 1. Womans use vocabulary points that work forces do non utilize. Lakoff uses mauve as an illustration.

    2. Female talkers use more “empty” adjectives. like Godhead. cute. and sweet.

    3. Womans use inquiry signifiers in environments where work forces would utilize indicative moods. 4. Womans use more polite signifiers. like “please” and “thank you” . 5.

    Womans use more “hedges. ” or signifiers that convey uncertainness. like good. you know. I guess.

    I think. I wonder. 6. Female talkers tend to use the intensive “so” more.

    as in “I’m so hungry. ” and subsequently Lakoff added other intensives like really and truly as more typical of adult females. 7. Womans tend to utilize “hypercorrect” grammar.

    so they were less likely than work forces to state ain’t and drop the terminals of words as in doin’ and goin’ ( Philips. 1980:532 ) . In another article Lakoff ( 1973 ) states that adult females use color footings like mauve. ecru.

    aquamarine. lavender and magenta. She maintains that adjectives such as endearing. capturing. Godhead. lovely and sweet are normally used by adult females but merely really seldom by work forces.

    “Lakoff besides pointed out that adult females have their ain vocabulary for stressing certain effects on them. with such words and looks like so good. such merriment. exquisite. lovely.

    cherished. Godhead. endearing. favorite and fantastic” ( Wardhaugh.

    2002:318 ) . The surveies mentioned above focal point on the gender differences in the usage of adjectives. Another field of research is the usage of intensives in men’s and women’s address. „Intensifiers are adverbs ( e. g.

    reasonably. truly. so. wholly.

    improbably. really. super. existent. etc. ) that boost or maximise significance.

    they scale the quality of an adjectival or adverb up. : I think it is pretty exciting. Oh. Janine. the truly hot terpsichorean miss. And this is so weird” ( Roberts & A ; Tagliamonte 2005: 280 ) .

    As intensives change. instead rapidly they provide a good topographic point to detect lingual alteration. They are capable to manner. They reflect the speaker’s desire to be original or to heighten the freshness of his or her looks ( Roberts & A ; Tagliamonte. 2005 )The impression of intensives was analyzed by many research workers ; harmonizing to Olsson ( 2000 ) . intensives act as a boosting device in linguistic communication.

    However. Lakoff ( 1975 ) categorized intensives as portion of fudging where it weakens the feelings of the talker in linguistic communication ; these are: rather. instead. so. excessively. truly.

    merely. such ( Amir et. Al. 2012 ) . Number of research workers like Roberts & A ; Tagliamonte ( 2005 ) .

    Olsson ( 2000 ) . Johnson and Roen ( 1992 ) . Kuha ( 2005 ) Herbert ( 1990 ) have investigated intensives based on how otherwise they are used in male and female interactions. One of the surveies in this field examined the differences in linguistic communication usage by 4 male and female Malayan teenage bloggers who use web logs as a journal to show their day-to-day issues about life.

    The findings show that there are differences between male and female bloggers in the frequences of five linguistic communication characteristics which are intensives. fudging. tag inquiries. empty adjectives and adverbs.

    The frequence of happenings of intensives was higher in web logs written by females ( n=388 ) than in those written by males ( n=157 ) ( Amir. 2012 ) . As for the empty adjectives the overall information showed that female bloggers used them more ( n=239 ) than male bloggers ( n=92 ) ( Amir et. Al. .

    2012 ) . Tagliamonte and Roberts ( 2005 ) investigated adjectives. as the most often intensified signifiers of linguistic communication. The principal they used was comprised of transcripts of the American situation comedy Friends.

    Overall 900 intensifiable adjectives have been found out of which 22 % was intensified. Harmonizing to the survey three intensives were dominant in Friends really ( 14. 2 % ) . truly ( 24.

    6 % ) and so ( 44. 1 % ) . It has been observed that adult females by and large tend to utilize more intensification. Female characters used so and truly more often than male characters.

    This could be explained by the fact that adult females use more “emotional language” was confirmed. This can besides explicate by the frequent usage of these adjectives encoding emotions or physical properties or other qualities e. g. : so covetous. so glad.

    truly freaked. truly important/small/great etc. ( Roberts & A ; Tagliamonte 2005 ) . Intensifiers are widely used in regards ( Herbert. 1990 ) and apologies ( Cohen and Olshtain 1981 ) . Surveies of regards support the suggestion that women’s regards tend to be expressed with linguistically stronger signifiers than men’s.

    Having analysed over one 1000 American regards. Hebert ( 1990 ) reported that lone adult females used the stronger from and they used them most frequently to other adult females. In written equal reappraisals. Johnson and Roen ( 1992 ) noted that adult females use significantly more intensives ( such as truly. really. peculiarly ) than work forces.

    The same consequences were reported by Herbert ( 1990 ) who came to the decision adult females intensified their regards most when composing to other adult females ( Coates. 1988 ) . The probe of sex-related address in tribunal made by O’Barr and Atkins ( 1980 ) besides confirmed old claims on women’s linguistic communication. They found that women’s address at the tribunal ( North California. superior condemnable tribunal ) contain a high frequence of intensives ( really near friend. quiet ailment and frequently with intonation accent ) ; hedges ( you know.

    kind of like. let’s see etc. ) ; empty adjectives ( this really sort police officer ) and other similar characteristics ( O’Barr. Atkins 1980:381 ) . A gender differences has been observed in the pick of specific intensives.

    Harmonizing to Bradac. Mulac and Thompson’s ( 1995 ) survey ? “some intensives. such as “really” and “so” . are more likely to be used by adult females while work forces have penchant for “very” and “real” . were more likely to be used by men” ( Kuha.

    2005:218 ) . The findings of Kuha’s ( 2005 ) survey besides supported that intensive so is associated with the address of immature female talkers and these consequences were replicated by Bauer and Bauer’s ( 2002 ) on immature New Zealanders ( Kuha. 2005 ) . We can see that research on the usage of adjectives and intensives is rather extended and it is still turning. From the surveies mentioned above we can besides reason that work forces and adult females have penchant for different adjectives and there are both qualitative differences in the manner they use intensification. 3.

    Research Questions and HypothesisThe research inquiries I expect to work out in this research are the undermentioned: ( 1 ) Are at that place any differences between men’s and women’s address in the manner they use adjectives adjectival use? ( 2 ) Which adjectives are the most frequent 1s in male and in female interactions? ( 3 ) Do adult females utilize more intensives than work forces?( 4 ) Are the intensives so. truly and really more typical for adult females? Based on relevant literature my hypotheses the following 4:( 1 ) Womans use far more adjectives than work forces do. ( 2 ) Womans use more „empty” adjectives such as cute. Sweet. nice. lovely.

    good. ( 3 ) Womans tend to utilize significantly more intensives than work forces. ( 4 ) The intensives so. truly and really are more typical for female address. 4. Datas and Method

    The information I analysed was drawn from the American situation comedy Friends created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman.

    The series revolves around a group of friends in Manhattan. It features six chief characters: Rachel Green. Monica Geller. Phoebe Buffay. Ross Geller.

    Chandler Bing and Joey Tribbiani. I have analysed the transcripts of Season 1 which includes 24 episodes. The transcript of one portion was 4-5 pages long and contained about 4. 425 words.

    Using quantitative and statistical methods I tried to happen replies for my research inquiries. Reading the transcripts of 24 episodes I counted the figure of adjectives and intensives. used by each character. After numbering the points mentioned above I compared the consequences described in the undermentioned subdivision. 3. Research Consequences
    The entire figure of adjectives in the principal is 615 out of which 314 were used by female and 301 by male characters.

    Figure1 shows these consequences in per centums from which we can see that there are merely little quantitative differences in the usage of adjectives by work forces and adult females. Figure1: Gender differences in the usage of adjectivesIt was besides interesting to analyze which adjectives were most often used in male and female interaction.
    Figure 2: Most frequent adjectives in women’s addressFrom the Figure 2 we can see that the most often used adjectives ( in falling order ) among adult females characters were great ( n=36 ) . good ( n=19 ) .

    nice and small ( n=18 ) . As a consequences show Lakoff’s claim that adult females use more „empty” adjectives ( see p. 4 ) seems to be supported because good and nice are identified as „empty” adjectives. Other „empty” adjectives were besides present in female’s address such as Sweet ( n=9 ) and cute ( n=14 ) . but their happenings were non so high. Womans used adjectives denoting colorss really seldom.

    merely two coloring material footings have been found in Rachel’s address: blonde and blue. Female characters tend to utilize standard signifiers of linguistic communication. which is justified by the fact that merely non-standard word has found in the information viz. . really relationshippy. As Rot ( 1988 ) states it the suffix -e ( Y ) is adjective postfix which creates slang an adjectives typically used by American people ( p.

    65 ) . The list of adjectives used by female characters is illustrated in Appendix 1.
    Figure 3: Most frequent adjectives in men’s addressAs we can see in Figure 3 the adjectives large ( n=25 ) . great ( n=24 ) and small ( n=21 ) had the highest happening in the address of male characters. These consequences besides show that they used no “empty” adjectives ( see p.

    4 ) . Adjectives denoting colorss ( e. g. ruddy and burgudny ) but these had a really low happening. From the Figure 3 we can besides reason that work forces preferred adjectives external belongingss ( e. g.

    large ) but examples for more emotional adjectives ( e. g. great. small ) were besides present.

    The list of adjectives used by male characters is provided in Appendix 2.
    In the 2nd stage of my research I investigated the usage of intensives in the address of male and female characters. Overall 145 intensified adjectives have been found out of which work forces used 45. while adult females 100. The overall rate of intensification was 23. 6 % .

    Figure 4: Gender differences in the overall rate of intensivesBased on the consequences mentioned above we can reason that hypothesis ( 3 ) that adult females tend to utilize significantly more intensives than work forces is confirmed. Male characters used intensives significantly fewer instances than female characters did.
    10 types of intensives were found within the informations which shown in Figure5 based on their distribution in the address of work forces and adult females. Figure 5: Intensifiers used by male and female charactersAs Figure 5 points out. three intensives were dominant in the address of both genders. viz.

    so. truly and really. The consequences clearly illustrate that female characters by and large used more intensives than work forces. The intensives so and truly had the highest frequence among adult females. Other intensives like really.

    pretty and excessively were less frequent signifiers within female interactions. Therefore. we can reason that the hypothesis that intensifiers so. truly and really are more typical for female address seems to be partially verified. It is besides clear from Figure 5 that some intensives ( e. g.

    dreadfully and wholly ) occurred merely in women’s address.
    As to men’s interaction Figure 5 clearly shows that three intensives were dominant in their address. viz. so. really and reasonably.

    The intensives truly and excessively had a lower rate of frequence. Just intensives existent and absolutely were favoured merely by male talkers. Anadiplosis of intensives was besides present in my informations and was used by both genders. as illustrated by illustrations 1-2. Example 1: Chandler: Yes. I know.

    as it happens my room is really really near to the parade path. Example 2: Chandler: Finally. I figure I’d better reply it. and it turns out it’s my female parent.

    which is very-very eldritch. because- she ne’er calls me! Intensifications incorporating negation have besides been found in the informations such as: truly no easy. truly non happy. but they merely occurred in the address of Monica. Example 4: Monica: Now I’m thinking that he bought her the large pipe organ. and she’s truly non happy about it.

    Examples 5: Monica: Okay. It’s-it’s about Alan. There’s something that you should cognize. I mean. there’s truly no easy manner to state this.

    . uh. . I’ve decided to interrupt up with Alan.

    4. DecisionBased on my research consequences. I can claim that adult females use more adjectives than work forces do. although the qualitative differences are non important. My consequences besides seem to back up Lakoff’s claim as that adult females use more „empty” adjectives.

    because good and nice were among the three most frequent adjectives used by the female characters. In contrast. there were no illustrations for „empty” adjectives in the interactions of male characters. On the footing of my informations we can reason that there are gender differences in the usage of intensives. Comparing the figure of intensives used by work forces ( n=45 ) and adult females ( n=100 ) the hypothesis that the latter tend to utilize significantly more intensives than work forces do seems to be confirmed. The intensives so and truly were used often among adult females.

    The hypothesis that intensives like so. truly and really are more typical for female address seems to be true in the instance of so and truly. but non for really. Overall it can be claimed that there are both qualitative and quantitative differences in the usage of adjectives and intensives in the address of the male and female characters I analysed.

    Mentions1. Amir. Z. . Anidin.

    H. . Saadiyah. D.

    . Kemboja. I. .

    ( 2012 ) . Gender Differences In The Language Use Of Malaysian Teen Bloggers. Journal of Language Studies Volume 12. pp. 106-124. 2.

    Bauer. L. . & A ; Bauer. W. ( 2002 ) .

    Adjectival supporters in the English of immature New Zealanders. Journal of English Linguistics. 30 ( 3 ) . pp.

    244-257. 3. Bradac. J. . Mulac.

    A. . & A ; Thompson. S. ( 1995 ) .

    Men’s and women’s usage of intensives and hedges in problem-solving interaction: Molar and molecular analyses. Research on Language and Social Interaction. 28. pp.

    93-116. 4. Coates. J. ( 1998 ) . Language and Gender: A Reader.

    Oxford: Blackwell. 5. Cohen. A. D.

    and Olshtain. E. ( 1981 ) . Developing a step of sociocultural competency: The instance of apology. Language Learning 31.

    113-134. 6. Herbert. R. K. ( 1990 ) .

    Sex-based Differences in Complimnet Behaviour. Language in Society. pp. 201-224. 7. Holmes J.

    ( 1988 ) . Complimenting – A positive Strategy ( 100-118 ) . In: Coates. J.

    ( 1998 ) . Language and Gender: A Reader. Oxford: Blackwell. 8. Holmes. J.

    ( 2001 ) . An debut to Sociolinguistics. 2nd Edition. Harlean carpenter: Longman. 9. Johnson.

    D. M. and Roen. D. H.

    ( 1992 ) . Complimenting and involvment in peer reappraisals: gender fluctuation. Language in Society. pp. 27-57.

    10. Kuha. M. ( 2005 ) . Investigating the Spread of “so” as an Intensifier: Social and Structural Factors.

    Ball State University. Texas Linguistic Forum 48. pp. 217-226. 11.

    Lakoff. R. ( 1973 ) . Language and Woman’s Place. Language in Society.

    Vol. 2. pp. 45-80. 12.

    Laikoff. R. ( 1975 ) . Language and Woman’s Place. New York: Harper & A ; Row.

    13. O’Barr. W. and Atkins.

    B. K. ( 1980 ) . ’Women’s language’ or ’powerless language’ ? In: Coates.

    J. ( 1998 ) . Language and Gender: A Reader. Oxford: Blackwell. 14. Olsson.

    L. ( 2000 ) . A survey of gender-related differences in introductory letters. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Lulea Tekniska Universitet.

    ( Online ) Retrieved 21October 2011. from hypertext transfer protocol: //epubl. luth. se/1402-1773/2000/62/LTU-CUPP-0062-SE. pdf 15. Sandor.

    R. ( 1991 ) . Non-Standard English ( Lexis ) . Budapest: Tankonyvkiado . 16.

    Susan U. P. ( 1980 ) . Sexual activity Differences and Language. Reviewed work: Annual Review of Anthropology. Vol.

    9. pp. 523-544. 17. Tagliamonte.

    S. and Roberts. C. ( 2005 ) .

    So Eldritch ; So Cool ; So Advanced: The Use of Intensifiers in the Television Series Friends. America Dialect Society Annual Meeting. Boston. pp.

    280-300. 18. Tannen. D.

    ( 1990 ) . You Just Don’t Understand. Women and Men in Conversation. New-York: William Morrow. 19.

    Wardhaugh. R. ( 2002 ) . An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Blackwell.

    [ 2 ] . Olsson ( 2000 ) considers endearing. nice. gorgeous.

    wonderful. capturing. Sweet. lovely. cute. Godhead.

    fantastic. delightful. brilliant. beautiful. atrocious. good and antic as illustrations of empty adjectives ( Amir.

    et. Al. 2012:117 ) .

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