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Polite conversational implicature in male and female language
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Gender equality is a greatly debated topic in modern society, with the linguistic discipline of language and gender being a substantial part of it. Based on the research on female language by Lakoff (1975), as well as the Gricean co-operative principle and its maxims (Grice 1975), this research investigates the relationship between conversational implicature, politeness and gender. In conversational implicature it is possible to imply more than what is expressed and thereby violate/flout the maxims of the co-operative principle. A reason for an utterance to imply more than what is being said may stem from an intention to be polite. Historically, politeness has been seen as more common in female language (Lakoff 1975). In order to investigate if that claim is true in modern and more gender equality-driven society, an empirical study was conducted in London, United Kingdom, on 12 native English speakers who were born after the publication of Lakoff’s findings on female language. The participants were divided into 2 female-female, 2 male-male and 2 female-male groups. The findings were diverse. Some male participants displayed instances of indirect, polite language, while some female participants used rough, impolite language, both flouting the co-operative principle. Both genders adhered to the co-operative principle, as well as flouted it. In conclusion, the recordings show that there is no strict adherence to female and male language for any of the genders. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 24 p.
Keyword [en]
Conversational implicature, gender equality, politeness, flouting, Gricean co-operative principle, female language.
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-144158DiVA: diva2:1108708
Presentation
2017-05-29, Stockholm, 21:33 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-17 Created: 2017-06-12 Last updated: 2017-06-17Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf