Gender Differences in the Use of Linguistic Forms in The Speech of Men and Women: A Comparative Study of Selected Tigrigna Novels By Men And Women Authors

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Addis Ababa University


This study was intended to determine whether men and women were represented differently with respect to the use of minimal responses, ask ing question s, super polite forms and hedges in the male and female author novels ofTigrigna written in the past there decades with a soc io political theme of the then situation of the co untry Ethi op ia in general and the present National Regional State of Tigray. In conducting the stud y, R. Lakofrs (1975) ideas co ncern ing linguistic differences between males and females were taken into account. In order to gather the most natural-I ike data, I male authored and 3 female authored dialogues of the nove ls with a socio political as wel l as a fa mily and social theme were by design selected from the literature of Tigrigna amongst all the scenarios written with in the last about thirty years. In all , 4,547 utterances were studi ed. The data were then divided into fo ur major groups: ( I) cross gender and same author, (2) same gender and cross author; (3) cross gender and cross author; and (4) cross author data. The results of the 24 Chi -squares computed shown not signifi cant difference between the groups on the use of minimal responses, asking questions, super polite forms as well as hedged in most of the scenarios. What makes the resu lt not uniform is the case of the cross gender and same authors' scenario, for the chi-square computed in the male authors context show that insignificant relationship for super polite form s. Again the ch i-square computed for the femal e author scenario show that the relat ionsh ip is insignificant for the lingui st ic devices of minimal responses, super polite forms and hedges. Except for cross gender and same author scenariO the findin gs of the study confirm that Lakofrs opinion regarding gender-bound language at least in the three areas and the corpus inspected in this resea rch



Gender Differences