The Whole Woman: Sex and Gender Differences in Variation

  • Penelope Eckert
Chapter
Part of the Modern Linguistics Series book series

Abstract

The tradition of large-scale survey methodology in the study of variation has left a gap between the linguistic data and the social practise that yields these data. Since sociolinguistic surveys bring away little information about the communities that produce their linguistic data, correlations of linguistic variants with survey categories have been interpreted on the basis of general knowledge of the social dynamics associated with those categories. The success of this approach has depended on the quality of this general knowledge. The examination of variation and socioeconomic class has been benefited from sociolinguists’ attention to a vast literature on class and to critical analyses of the indices by which class membership is commonly determined. The study of gender and variation, on the other hand, has suffered from the fact that the amount of scientific attention given to gender over the years cannot begin to be compared with that given to class. Many current beliefs about the role of gender in variation, therefore, are a result of substituting popular (and unpopular) belief for social theory in the interpretation of patterns of sex correlations with variation.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Brown, P. (1980) ‘How and Why Women are More Polite: Some Evidence from a Mayan Community’, in McConnell-Ginet, S., Borker, R. A. and Furman, N. (eds) Women and Language in Literature and Society ( New York: Praeger ) pp. 111–36.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, P. and Levinson, S. (1987) Politeness ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  3. Clermont, J. and Cedergren, H. (1978) ‘Les ‘R’ de ma Mère Sont Perdus dans L’air’, in Thibault, P. (ed.) Le Français Parlé: Études Sociolinguistiques ( Edmonton, Alberta: Linguistic Research ) pp. 13–28.Google Scholar
  4. Deuchar, M. (1988) ‘A Pragmatic Account of Women’s Use of Standard Speech’, in Coates, J. and Cameron, D. (eds) Women in Their Speech Communities ( London: Longman ) pp. 27–32.Google Scholar
  5. Eckert, P. (1984) ‘Age and Linguistic Change’, in Keith, J. and Kertzer, D. I. (eds) Age and Anthropological Theory ( Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press ) pp. 219–33.Google Scholar
  6. Eckert, P. (1987) ‘The Relative Values of Variables’, in Denning, K., Inkelas, S., McNair-Knox, F. and Rickford, J. (eds) Variation in Language: NWAV-XV ( Stanford: Department of Linguistics ) pp. 101–10.Google Scholar
  7. Eckert, P. (1988) ‘Adolescent Social Structure and the Spread of Linguistic Change’, Language in Society, 17, pp. 183–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Eckert, P. (1989a) Jocks and Burnouts ( New York: Teachers’ College Press).Google Scholar
  9. Eckert, P. (1989b) ‘Social Membership and Linguistic Variation,’ paper presented at NWAVE, Duke University.Google Scholar
  10. Eckert, P. (1990) ‘Cooperative Competition in Adolescent “Girl Talk”’, Discourse Processes, 13, pp. 91–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eckert, P., Edwards, A. and Robins, L. (1985) Social and Biological Categories in the Study of Linguistic Variation. Paper presented at NWAVE I V, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  12. Fox-Genovese, E. (1988) Within the Plantation Household ( Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press).Google Scholar
  13. Guy, G., Horvath, B., Vonwiller, J., Daisley, E. and Rogers, I. (1986) ‘An Intonational Change in Progress in Australian English’, Language in Society, 15, pp. 23–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Labov, W. (1966) The Social Stratification of English in New York City ( Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics).Google Scholar
  15. Labov, W. (1972a) ‘Hypercorrection by the Lower Middle Class as a Factor in Linguistic Change’, in Labov, W. (ed.) Sociolinguistic Patterns ( Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press ) pp. 122–42.Google Scholar
  16. Labov, W. (1972b) ‘The Linguistic Consequences of Being a Lame’, in Labov, W. (ed.) Sociolinguistic Patterns ( Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press ) pp. 255–92.Google Scholar
  17. Labov, W. (1984) The Intersection of Sex and Social Factors in the Course of Language Change. Paper presented at NWAVE, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  18. Labov, W., Yaeger, M. and Steiner, R. (1972) A Quantitative Study of Sound Change in Progress. Report on NSF project No. 65–3287.Google Scholar
  19. Laferriere, M. (1979) ‘Ethnicity in Phonological Variation and Change’, Language, 55, pp. 603–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Macaulay, R. K. S. (1977) Language Social Class and Education ( Edinburgh: University Press).Google Scholar
  21. Maltz, D. and Borker, R. (1982) ‘A Cultural Approach to Male—Female Miscommunication’, in Gumperz, J. J. (ed.) Language and Social Identity ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press ) pp. 195–216.Google Scholar
  22. Rickford, J. (1986) ‘The Need for New Approaches to Class Analysis in Sociolinguistics’, Language and Communication, 6, pp. 215–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Thibault, P. (1983) Equivalence et Grammaticalisation. Ph.D. dissertation, Université de Montréal.Google Scholar
  24. Trudgill, P. (1972) The Social Differentiation of English in Norwich ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  25. Veblen, T. (1931) The Theory of the Leisure Class ( New York: Viking).Google Scholar
  26. Wolfram, W. A. (1969) A Sociolinguistic Description of Detroit Negro Speech ( Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics).Google Scholar
  27. Aitchison, J. (1981) Language Change: Progress or Decay? ( London: Fontana).Google Scholar
  28. Chambers, J. K. and Trudgill, P. (1980) Dialectology ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  29. Dorian, N. (1981) Language Death ( Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press).Google Scholar
  30. Dorian, N. (1989) Investigating Obsolence: Studies in Language Contraction and Death ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Horvath, B. (1985) Variation in Australian English: The Sociolects of Sydney ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  32. Labov, W. (1966) The Social Stratification of English in New York City ( Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics) [also published by Blackwell].Google Scholar
  33. Labov, W. (1972a) Language in the Inner City ( Philadelphia, PA: Pennsylvania University Press).Google Scholar
  34. Labov, W. ( 1972b, 1978) Sociolinguistic Patterns ( Oxford: Basil Blackwell).Google Scholar
  35. Labov, W. (1994) Principles of Linguistic Change: Internal Factors ( Oxford: Blackwell).Google Scholar
  36. Macaulay, R. K. S. (1977) Language, Social Class, and Education: A Glasgow Study ( Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press).Google Scholar
  37. Milroy, J. and Milroy, L. (eds) (1993) Real English: The Grammar of English Dialects in the British Isles ( London: Longman ).Google Scholar
  38. Milroy, L. (1987) Language and Social Networks (second edition) ( Oxford: Blackwell).Google Scholar
  39. Romaine, S. (ed.) (1982) Sociolinguistic Variation in Speech Communities ( London: Edward Arnold ).Google Scholar
  40. Trudgill, P. (1975) Accent, Dialect and the School ( London: Edward Arnold).Google Scholar
  41. Trudgill, P. (1983) On Dialect ( Oxford: Blackwell).Google Scholar
  42. Trudgill, P. (1986) Dialects in Contact ( Oxford: Blackwell).Google Scholar
  43. Trudgill, P. (1992) The Dialects of England ( Oxford: Blackwell).Google Scholar
  44. Trudgill, P. (ed.) (1978) Sociolinguistic Patterns in British English ( London: Edward Arnold ).Google Scholar
  45. Wolfram, W. and Schiffrin, D. (eds) (1989) Language Change and Variation ( Amsterdam/Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Penelope Eckert

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations