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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 25 wonder if that means duck is tonight’s special?” and the woman across the table replies, “Yes, a seven-foot tall particularly stupid duck.” Prior to utterance, the man draws upon several kinds of knowledge, including his world-knowledge of ducks and restaurants, general grammatical knowledge, and knowledge of speech act types, which are energized simultaneously with gender- linked language schemata, 3 in this case female-language schemata (uncertainty verbs and questions, dangling from the “indirect” pole of a directness dimension). The woman who responds draws upon the same knowledge and male language schemata (judgmental adjectives and references to quantity, dangling from the “direct” pole of a directness dimension, respectively). This is an egalitarian situation of mutual accommodation. The model reflects a conception of gender that is rooted in the self-concepts and culturally-based schemata comprising gender identity. It is to an extent a fluid conception in that some situations intensify the salience of gender identity, whereas others diminish it; also, there is individual variation in the degree to which gender identity is chronically accessible, and there is variation in the extent to which this identity is linked to biological sex in culturally mandated ways. A great majority of the studies on gender-linked language have in fact operationalized gender as biological sex, which raises interesting questions in light of the rather consistent results—and very stable male-female differences in the case of Mulac and associates’ research— that have been obtained. For example, referring to the latter research, have the stable differences between male and female speakers been produced by a subset of the sample who are sex-typed (not androgynous, undifferentiated, or cross-sex) and, therefore, for whom gender is chronically accessible? The fact that stable linguistic differences have been found across a wide variety of communication contexts, some of which seem unlikely to have triggered gender identity salience, suggests that the answer to the chronicity question may be “yes.” The answer to the

Authors: Mulac, Anthony., Bradac, James. and Palomares, Nicholas.
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General Process Model of the GLLE
25
wonder if that means duck is tonight’s special?” and the woman across the table replies, “Yes, a
seven-foot tall particularly stupid duck.” Prior to utterance, the man draws upon several kinds of
knowledge, including his world-knowledge of ducks and restaurants, general grammatical
knowledge, and knowledge of speech act types, which are energized simultaneously with gender-
linked language schemata,
3
in this case female-language schemata (uncertainty verbs and
questions, dangling from the “indirect” pole of a directness dimension). The woman who
responds draws upon the same knowledge and male language schemata (judgmental adjectives
and references to quantity, dangling from the “direct” pole of a directness dimension,
respectively). This is an egalitarian situation of mutual accommodation.
The model reflects a conception of gender that is rooted in the self-concepts and
culturally-based schemata comprising gender identity. It is to an extent a fluid conception in that
some situations intensify the salience of gender identity, whereas others diminish it; also, there is
individual variation in the degree to which gender identity is chronically accessible, and there is
variation in the extent to which this identity is linked to biological sex in culturally mandated
ways. A great majority of the studies on gender-linked language have in fact operationalized
gender as biological sex, which raises interesting questions in light of the rather consistent
results—and very stable male-female differences in the case of Mulac and associates’ research—
that have been obtained. For example, referring to the latter research, have the stable differences
between male and female speakers been produced by a subset of the sample who are sex-typed
(not androgynous, undifferentiated, or cross-sex) and, therefore, for whom gender is chronically
accessible? The fact that stable linguistic differences have been found across a wide variety of
communication contexts, some of which seem unlikely to have triggered gender identity
salience, suggests that the answer to the chronicity question may be “yes.” The answer to the


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