Language and Gender

The gender pattern which is explained in the section on sociolinguistic patterns describes phonological differences in female and male speech behaviour with respect to the overall frequency of using certain phonological variants. These differences have also been referred to as typical sex-graded variation.

Studies in language and gender, however, have a less restricted focus as they are more generally concerned with gender-based variation as concerns specific female and male ways of speaking (i.e. conversational styles and connected discourse features: structuring conversation; lexical differences).

The term ‘genderlect’ is used to refer to the communicative style associated with a particular gender.

The Terms 'Sex' and 'Gender' in Language and Gender Research

Research into language and gender has focused on a description of the conversational styles of women and men. Scholars try to provide explanations from a variety of (social) perspectives:

(1) The Conversational Styles of Women and Men

(2) Explanations