Assumptions

Folklinguistics are attitudes and assumptions about language that have no real evidence to support them.

Activity – Can you match the assumption to the gender?

Below are 19 assumptions – separate them into which link to males and which link to females.

  1. Talk more
  2. Interrupt more
  3. Complain and nag
  4. Speak with more authority
  5. Ask more questions
  6. Give more commands
  7. Talk about sport more
  8. Dominate conversations
  9. Are hesitant
  10. Don’t talk about emotions
  11. Are more co-operative
  12. Are very competitive in conversation
  13. Support each other
  14. Are more polite
  15. Talk too much
  16. Insult each other frequently
  17. Talk about women and machines in the same way
  18. Are indecisive
  19. Swear more

Answers

  1. Talk more (F)
  2. Interrupt more (M)
  3. Complain and nag (F)
  4. Speak with more authority (M)
  5. Ask more questions (F)
  6. Give more commands (M)
  7. Talk about sport more (M)
  8. Dominate conversations (M)
  9. Are hesitant (F)
  10. Don’t talk about emotions (M)
  11. Are more co-operative (F) 
  12. Are very competitive in conversation (M)
  13. Support each other (F)
  14. Are more polite (F)
  15. Talk too much (F)
  16. Insult each other frequently (M)
  17. Talk about women and machines in the same way (M)
  18. Are indecisive (F)
  19. Swear more (M)

Some of my thoughts…

Assumptions are usually believed to be true by the average punter but when one starts to explore language in social contexts they begin to realise there is more to it and these are mere assumptions. We see this assumptions everywhere in our life making it hard to see to believe they are incorrect. For examples, movies either depict women with all these assumptions or with all the male attributes to create humour – the reality is not presented which is fair enough because they have money to make. However, we must remember these are assumptions, not the truth. Furthermore, there are a bunch of other factors which affect the way women speak.

It could be that because in the past we had male dominated society women were forced to follow social rules which altered the way they spoke, giving birth to these assumptions which are false because the 21st century is very different to lets say the 15th century.

 

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