LANGUAGE VARIATION IN RELATION TO GENDER AS A SOCIAL FACTOR Linguistic…
This research is designed to examine language variation in relation to gender as a social factor, the thrust of this study is a sociolinguistic analysis of gender on language use. The research through its data that encompasses various languages has proved beyond every doubt the existence of gender variation in language use.
INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL BACKGROUND
Language is a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of a system of voluntary produced symbols (Sapir, 1921:8). David crystal, (1989:252) further affirms that language is referred to as human a vocal noise or the graphic representation of this noise in writing used systematically and conventionally by a community for purpose of communication. Generally speaking language is a basic tool of socio-cultural communication; it specifically deals with the human capacity for using and acquiring complex systems of communication (Bloomfield 1914).
Language and gender is an area of study within socio-linguistics, applied linguistics and related fields that investigate varieties of speech associated with a particular gender of social norms. A variety of speech or sociolect associated with a particular gender is sometimes called “genderlect” (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Language and gender basically explores two basic issues which are the representations of gender in language and the conversational characteristics of men and women. Cross-linguistic examinations have revealed a number of key areas of grammar and vocabulary where gender is displayed or indicated in various ways, other studies have identified symmetric male-female difference in many languages, these ranges from differences in vocabulary, difference in linguistic forms e.g. Phonology, morphology and syntax, to difference communication styles, politeness and directness in language.