Лексические и грамматические особенности мужской и женской речи

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Язык: Английский
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Данная статья посвящена лексико-грамматическим особенностям гендерных стереотипов. Цель состоит в установлении диапазона языковых средств репрезентации гендерных стереотипов, существующих в современной англоязычной лингвокультуре.

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Regarding the differences in male and female speech, J. Edwards notes the so-called "gender-preferred" language means (gender-preferential), i.e., the choice of language means and markers is determined by the gender of the individual [Edwards 2009]. Let us consider the features of female and male speech, highlighted by those researchers who adhere to the point of view according to which the speech of men and women differs.

In the book "Language: its nature, development and origin" O. Jespersen included the chapter "Woman", which summarizes the studies that existed at that time on the female language in different parts of the world. In this article, the scientist also included a section on the vocabulary of the language.

So, O. Jespersen noted a greater propensity for women to use euphemisms and a lesser tendency to use foul language. Studies by Russian linguists also confirmed that "women do not use strong words like men".

V.I. Zelvis studied in detail the layer of reduced (including obscene) vocabulary and paid great attention to which invectives women prefer to use, and which men prefer to use. His conclusion coincides with the data indicated above «where men resort to very sharp and vulgar invectives, women, as a rule, prefer to use softer turns or outwardly very modest-sounding interjections» [Zelvis 1991]. The researcher believes that men use harsh or vulgar invectives in order to free themselves from excessive aggression accumulated as a result of stress.

However, American linguists D. Cameron and D. Coates, having studied the speech and speech behavior of men and women, offer another explanation for men's addiction to rude, harsh expressions: the reason is that profanity and deviation from generally accepted norms have the status of "hidden prestige". In his study of the characteristics of male communicative behavior, I.A. Sternin calls active foul language an essential feature of male communication.

E.A. Zemskaya, M.V. Kitaygorodskaya, N.N. Rozanova came to the conclusion that a woman's speech is much more emotional. To convey their emotions, women use, firstly, adverbs-intensifiers so (so, so much), such (such), awfully (terrible in the meaning of very), terribly (scary), and secondly, semantically empty adjectives gorgeous (gorgeous), divine (amazing), splendid (excellent). In addition to adverbs and empty adjectives, women are characterized by the use of interjections "as a means of expressing meanings associated with a person's emotional reaction". Men, as observations show, avoid too emotional exclamations.

The greater emotionality of women, apparently, is also manifested in the greater propensity of women to evaluate. As the study of M.A. Yagubova, women account for 2.5 times more evaluative word usage than men. The most noticeable differences among women in the field of the use of evaluative words by M.A. Yagubova names the great importance of emotional assessments and the tendency to exaggerate assessments and emotions, which is expressed in the more frequent use of intensifiers, stylistically and emotionally colored means. Men, on the contrary, are characterized by greater concreteness, motivation, rationality of assessments. Their view is more critical, more often turned to serious problems: work, professional and business qualities.

Unlike E.A. Zemskoy, M.V. Kitaigorodskaya, N.N. Rozanova, who believe that the use of adverbs and empty adjectives is associated with the emotionality of women, O. Jespersen attributed the use of these lexical features to female talkativeness [Jespersen 1922]. O. Jespersen gives examples from all major European languages. However, J. Coates criticizes the scientist for the fact that these conclusions are of an observational nature and are not based on reliable data that would clearly show that they are used only by women or predominantly by women. R. Lakoff in the already mentioned monograph «The Language and Place of a Woman» also singles out the so-called «empty» adjectives, for example, excellent, charming, cute… in women's language than in men's, although, of course, men can also use it".

According to R. Lakoff, the peculiarities of female speech make her weak, insecure and powerless.

The researchers also note that women use modal elements much more intensively, which have received the name qualifiers/ hedges in English linguistics. They include modal verbs might, could; modal limiters, including such stable combinations as kind of, sort of, to some extent, particles just, only, somewhat; introductory sentences I suppose, I think, I guess, I mean, I'm afraid, I wonder, you know; adverbs maybe, possibly, probably, apparently, presumably, etc. Such de-intensifiers have given women's speech a reputation for being uncertain and hesitant. However, they have well-defined functions, especially if we take into account the intonation design, they soften the categoricalness of the statement, thereby preventing a possible threat to the personality of the participants in the communication.

Another lexical feature is that men strive for the accuracy of naming objects, as well as tend to use a large number of terms and professionalisms. This is also confirmed in the study by A.Yu. Belyaeva, the author also notes the preference of women to use approximate designations and the pronoun «this» (accompanied by a pointing gesture, a nod of the head or a movement of the hand, a finger towards the desired object).

According to A.O. Laletina, women often use the pronoun we as confirmation of the idea of a collective style of communication, as an index of personal experience and social rapprochement [Laletina 2007:19].

Regarding grammatical differences in the language of men and women, O. Jespersen argues that women often speak in unfinished sentences, in particular, this applies to exclamatory sentences. The scientist gives his explanation for this fact: «women are much more likely than men to break off a sentence without finishing it, since they start a conversation without thinking about what they are going to say…». J. Coates again criticizes the scientist, saying that, in fact, unfinished statements can be found in the speech of both sexes.

Modern researchers note that in the speech of men the following situation quite often arises: as if intentionally correct construction of a phrase at the beginning and most often a crumpled end or its absence altogether, incompleteness. E.K. Andrianova gives the following definition of interrupted utterances: «Interrupted utterances are statements in which the implementation of the utterance plan has taken place, but the communicative intention of the author has not been resolved to the end. The appearance of interrupted sentences can be due to both internal reasons based on arrhythmia and disruption of operations when generating a sentence, and external reasons of the communicative plan.

Modern researchers are increasingly paying attention to the fact that the use of the language by men and women depends not so much on gender differences, but "is determined by the social and situational context, as well as the individual characteristics of the speaker". Following researchers who question the existence of impenetrable boundaries between male and female speech, we believe that the choice of language means by men and women depends on various communication factors.

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Список литературы

  1. Butler S. Gender trouble. Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, 1989. —256 p.
  2. Cameron D. Theoretical Debates in Femenist Linguistics: Questions of Sex and Gender // Gender and Discourse / Ed. By Ruth Wodak. London: Sage, 1997. P. 21−37.
  3. Edwards J. language and identity: key topics in sociolinguistics. — New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.- 314 p.
  4. Glover D., Kaplan C. Genders. London: Routledge, 2009. — 203 p.
  5. Lakoff R. Language and woman’s place. — New York, London: Harper Colophon Books, 1975.- 366 p.


Абдукодирова, Л.А. Лексические и грамматические особенности мужской и женской речи / Л.А. Абдукодирова, М.С. Саидова. — Текст : электронный // NovaInfo, 2022. — № 134. — С. 80-81. — URL: https://novainfo.ru/article/19443 (дата обращения: 01.12.2022).