Original Article

Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 33-48

First online:

Gender Differences in the Media Interviews of Bill and Hillary Clinton

  • Camelia SuleimanAffiliated withFlorida International University Email author 
  • , Daniel C. O’ConnellAffiliated withGeorgetown University

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Does gender make a difference in the way politicians speak and are spoken to in public? This paper examines perspective in three television interviews and two radio interviews with Bill Clinton in June 2004 and in three television interviews and two radio interviews with Hillary Clinton in June 2003 with the same interviewers. Our perspectival approach assumes that each utterance has a dialogically constructed point of view. Earlier research has shown that markers of conceptual orality and literacy as well as referencing (name and pronoun use for self and other reference) do reflect perspective. This paper asks whether perspective is gendered. Our data analysis demonstrates that some markers of perspective show gender differences while others do not. Those that do include the number of syllables spoken by each interlocutor, referencing, the use of the intensifier so, the use of the hedge you know, the use of non-standard pronunciations, turn transitions, and lastly the use of laughter.


Television interviews Perspective Gender differences