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A general process model of the gender-linked language effect: Antecedents for and consequences of language used by men and women
Unformatted Document Text:  General Process Model of the GLLE 13 phonological features may be the first option (pitch), followed by semantic features (lexical items), with the last option being syntactic features (e.g., use of diminishers—“it was sort of good”; Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, & Svartvick, 1985). It seems likely that men and women draw upon a different kind of knowledge when speaking in situations where there is no special intention to use male or female language, where the focus is elsewhere, which is probably true of most situations. This is not to say that gender identity is irrelevant in most situations, but rather that the specific communicative purpose to use gender-related language probably arises infrequently. This “different kind of knowledge” exists in the form of gender-linked language schemata, we propose. Speakers draw upon these schemata unconsciously to achieve a wide variety of goals, and situations that heighten the salience of gender identity will energize these schemata, just as these situations energize more general gender schemata. Gender-linked language schemata reside at the intersection of gender identity and linguistic knowledge. There is some evidence and there are arguments that support the plausibility of the “gender-linked language schemata” construct. In the studies of gender-linked language, one pattern is invariant: Although when asked to identify the sex of speakers from typed transcripts respondents cannot do so beyond chance levels, they do consistently evaluate the speakers differently as a result of linguistic features related to speaker sex. This indicates a process wherein gender-linked linguistic features function implicitly to stimulate evaluations. These features are not consciously associated with speaker sex in the way that linguistic features reflecting stereotypes are, but nevertheless they affect respondents’ judgments systematically and consistently. Additionally, some of the language features associated with gender and related to the gender-linked language effect are syntactic variables, e.g., dependent clauses and sentence

Authors: Mulac, Anthony., Bradac, James. and Palomares, Nicholas.
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General Process Model of the GLLE
13
phonological features may be the first option (pitch), followed by semantic features (lexical
items), with the last option being syntactic features (e.g., use of diminishers—“it was sort of
good”; Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, & Svartvick, 1985).
It seems likely that men and women draw upon a different kind of knowledge when
speaking in situations where there is no special intention to use male or female language, where
the focus is elsewhere, which is probably true of most situations. This is not to say that gender
identity is irrelevant in most situations, but rather that the specific communicative purpose to use
gender-related language probably arises infrequently. This “different kind of knowledge” exists
in the form of gender-linked language schemata, we propose. Speakers draw upon these
schemata unconsciously to achieve a wide variety of goals, and situations that heighten the
salience of gender identity will energize these schemata, just as these situations energize more
general gender schemata. Gender-linked language schemata reside at the intersection of gender
identity and linguistic knowledge.
There is some evidence and there are arguments that support the plausibility of the
“gender-linked language schemata” construct. In the studies of gender-linked language, one
pattern is invariant: Although when asked to identify the sex of speakers from typed transcripts
respondents cannot do so beyond chance levels, they do consistently evaluate the speakers
differently as a result of linguistic features related to speaker sex. This indicates a process
wherein gender-linked linguistic features function implicitly to stimulate evaluations. These
features are not consciously associated with speaker sex in the way that linguistic features
reflecting stereotypes are, but nevertheless they affect respondents’ judgments systematically and
consistently. Additionally, some of the language features associated with gender and related to
the gender-linked language effect are syntactic variables, e.g., dependent clauses and sentence


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