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Gender and indirectness: A corpus study investigating imperatives and tag questions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

There has been some controversy concerning the subject of gender and indirectness in discourse over the years. The goal of this essay is to investigate four major approaches to gender and indirectness for the purpose of distinguishing the most relevant one. The first three ways of approaching gender and indirectness, the theory of deficit, the theory of dominance and the theory of difference claim that there is a measurable difference between genders but they cannot concur on why such a difference exists. The theory of deficit and the theory dominance claim that the difference is socially structured, while the theory of difference claims it is because of inherent nature. The fourth approach, the dynamic/social constructionist approach, does not agree with previous approaches and claims instead that other factors are more important when analyzing why some people are more indirect than others, for example age, class and ethnicity. This essay investigates the topic of indirectness by studying tag questions and imperatives and the data used in this essay was collected from the British National Corpus. The search queries used in the British National Corpus were please and come for imperatives and hasn’t and wasn’t for tag questions. The result of this essay is consistent with the results from the fourth approach, the theory of dynamic/social constructionist as no measurable difference could be found between the genders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
indirectness, imperatives, tag questions, gender, intersectionality
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113047OAI: diva2:782590
2015-01-12, E387, Universitetsvägen 10A, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-01-27 Created: 2015-01-21 Last updated: 2015-01-27Bibliographically approved

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