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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 14 initial adverbials, and there is evidence that linguistically untutored persons typically are unaware of syntactic variation (Bradac, Martin, Elliot, & Tardy, 1981; Bradac, Konsky, & Davies, 1976) (unless the variation is nonstandard; Bradac, 1990; Cargile & Bradac, 2001) and they generally have poor memory for syntax (Kemper, 1988). For other non-syntactic features, e.g., references to quantity and judgmental adjectives, it seems highly unlikely that speakers monitor their performance in order to produce more or fewer of them in spontaneous interactive speech with the purpose of appearing masculine or feminine. Such monitoring would appear to greatly exceed the attentional capacity and computational abilities of most speakers. It may be the case that the gender-linked language schemata are constituted by relatively general, stable dimensions and that attached to these dimensions are specific linguistic items, ranging from particular words (“nightingale”) and phrases to syntactic categories (dependent clauses). These linguistic items may be relatively unstable, varying across epochs, generations, and social trends. Candidate dimensions are directness (direct-indirect), succinctness (succinct- elaborate), emotionality (affective-instrumental), and personalness (personal-contextual). There is reason to believe that these dimensions may be salient in a variety of cultures (see Gudykunst & Ting-Toomey, 1988). Mulac et al. (2001) found that untutored American respondents perceived gender-linked language variables along these dimensions, with male variables being perceived as relatively direct, succinct, instrumental, and personal and female variables being perceived as relatively indirect, elaborate, and affective. Perhaps further investigation will uncover other dimensions. The fact that men and women can adopt language styles that exhibit features of the opposite sex, as in situations of accommodation (Hogg, 1985; Mulac et al., 1988), suggests that both men and women learn both male and female gender-linked language schemata. The

Authors: Mulac, Anthony., Bradac, James. and Palomares, Nicholas.
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General Process Model of the GLLE
14
initial adverbials, and there is evidence that linguistically untutored persons typically are
unaware of syntactic variation (Bradac, Martin, Elliot, & Tardy, 1981; Bradac, Konsky, &
Davies, 1976) (unless the variation is nonstandard; Bradac, 1990; Cargile & Bradac, 2001) and
they generally have poor memory for syntax (Kemper, 1988). For other non-syntactic features,
e.g., references to quantity and judgmental adjectives, it seems highly unlikely that speakers
monitor their performance in order to produce more or fewer of them in spontaneous interactive
speech with the purpose of appearing masculine or feminine. Such monitoring would appear to
greatly exceed the attentional capacity and computational abilities of most speakers.
It may be the case that the gender-linked language schemata are constituted by relatively
general, stable dimensions and that attached to these dimensions are specific linguistic items,
ranging from particular words (“nightingale”) and phrases to syntactic categories (dependent
clauses). These linguistic items may be relatively unstable, varying across epochs, generations,
and social trends. Candidate dimensions are directness (direct-indirect), succinctness (succinct-
elaborate), emotionality (affective-instrumental), and personalness (personal-contextual). There
is reason to believe that these dimensions may be salient in a variety of cultures (see Gudykunst
& Ting-Toomey, 1988). Mulac et al. (2001) found that untutored American respondents
perceived gender-linked language variables along these dimensions, with male variables being
perceived as relatively direct, succinct, instrumental, and personal and female variables being
perceived as relatively indirect, elaborate, and affective. Perhaps further investigation will
uncover other dimensions.
The fact that men and women can adopt language styles that exhibit features of the
opposite sex, as in situations of accommodation (Hogg, 1985; Mulac et al., 1988), suggests that
both men and women learn both male and female gender-linked language schemata. The


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