Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


On the basis of a corpus of 626 utterances produced in buying a train ticket at the Central Station of Amsterdam an investigation was made of a) differences between the speech used by women and by men, and b) differences between the speech allocated to women and to men.The independent variables were: sex of speaker, age of speaker and sex of addressee. The dependent variables were: diminutives, hesitations, requests for information, speaker's polite forms and addressee's polite forms. The results indicate that there are hardly speech differences between female and male speakers, if the speech events and the factors of situation, setting, and topic are the same for all informants. The sex of the addressee, however, affected the use of polite forms: the travellers - both women and men - were more polite to the male ticket sellers than to the female ticket sellers. Both of the results point to the importance of taking into account inter-actional aspects in research of sex differences in speech. Also attention should be paid to the choice of the interviewer in sociolinguistic studies: a female interviewer may be more suited to elicit informal speech. The fact that both male speakers and female speakers show by their use of polite forms more respect for men and less respect to women reflects the sex-linked hierarchy in society, and one should realize that women themselves contribute to the continued higher valuation of men.1) This investigation is a sequel to the paper which has been published in both J.F. Matter (ed.), Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 4 (1978), 52-75 (Dédé Brouwer, Marinel Gerritsen & Dorian de Haan, 'Verschillen in taal-gebruik tussen vrouwen en mannen: een dood spoor?') and Language in Society 8 (1979), 33-50 (Dédé Brouwer, Marinel Gerritsen & Dorian de Haan, 'Speech differences between women and men: on the wrong track?').


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error