4.  REBECCA BURNS-HOFFMAN, University of Miami

English 300, Language and Gender 
Office: MB 319C
Spring 1993 
Hours:  Wed. 2-4
Rebecca Burns-Hoffman 
phone:  284-2182


The goals of this course are to introduce students to a wide
range of linguistic analyses of language used by and used 
about women and men and to examine models of 
explanation for gender differences.  Furthermore, students 
will be guided through the independent research process of 
data collection (recording and transcribing language in use) 
and linguistic analysis in the writing of their term papers.

Format and Evaluation

The format of the course for the first eight weeks is assigned 
readings, lectures, and discussion with four short exams over 
this material.  The remaining four weeks will be devoted to 
"workshop" sessions in which students will analyze their 
transcripts, discuss their findings, and prepare their final 
written reports.  The four exams are weighted once; the final 
project is weighted twice.  The grading scale used is 
93-100=A, 85-92=B, 77-84=C, 69-76=D.


The linguistic aspects of gender differences explored in this 
course are relevant for students of anthropology, sociology, 
psychology, education, English, communications, and 
journalism.  No courses are prerequisite.

Required Text:
Graddol and Swann. 1989. Gender Voices. Blackwell 
          (214 pp).

Recommended Text:
Coulthard. 1977.  An Introduction to Discourse Analysis. 
          Longman (195 pp).

Required Readings:
Cooper. 1984. "The avoidance of androcentricgenerics."
          International Journal of the Sociology of Language,
          Vol. 50, pp. 5-20.

Mueller and Hassan. 1991. "Gender marking in Spanish:
          linguistic versus sociological determinants of feminine
          form in words for humans."  Conference on Pragmatics
          and Language Learning, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana.

Philips and Reynolds. 1987. "Variable syntax and discourse
          structure in women's and men's speech." In volume
          edited by Philips, Steele, and Tanz, pp. 71-94.

Scherzer. 1987.  "A diversity of voices: men's and women's
          speech in ethnographic perspective." In volume edited
          by Philips, Steele, and Tanz, pp. 95-120.

Books on Reserve:
Baron. 1986. Grammar and Gender. 

Cameron. 1985. Feminism and Linguistic Theory

Cameron. 1990. The Feminist Critique of Language: A Reader.

Coates and Cameron, eds. 1988. Women in Their Speech
          Communities: New Perspectives on Language and Sex.

Coates. 1986. Women, Men, and Language: A Sociolinguistic
          Account of Sex Differences in Language.

Graddol and Swann. 1989. Gender Voices.

Key. 1975. Male/Female Language. (includes extensive

Kramarae. 1981. Women and Men Speaking: Frameworks for

McConnell-Ginet, Borker, Furman, ed.s. 1980.  Women and
          Language in Literature and Society.

Poynton, Cate. 1989. Language and Gender: Making the

Spender. 1985. Man Made Language.

Thorne, Kramarae, Henley, ed.s.  Language, Gender, and
          Society.  (extensive bibliography)

Weeks 1 & 2
Chapter 1 (pp. 1-11) (All chapters refer to Graddol & Swann)
     -Rapid success of the study of language and gender,
     theoretical advances, activism
     -Nature of language, introduction to psycholinguistics and

Chapter 2 (pp. 12-40)
     -physiological aspects of voice: pitch, timbre, volume,
     -social perceptions of voice
     -voice and personal identity
Exam on Friday, Jan 29

Weeks 3 and 4
Chapter 3 (pp. 41-68)
     -early anthropological studies of gender based grammars
     -men and women's language in social stratification
     -critiques of the sociolinguistic paradigm; alternative
      accounts of differences
Paper by Philips and Reynolds
     -language in the courtroom 
     -interaction between morphology and discourse 
Paper by Scherzer
     -ethnographic methodology, Cuna Indians
     -non-universality of dominance model of explanation for
     gender differences in language use
Exam on Friday, Feb 12

Week 5
Chapter 4 (pp.69-94)
     -conversation analysis: speaking vs. silence, interruptions,
     supporting roles, directives, the language of uncertainty,
     topic maintenance/topic shift

Week 6
Chapter 5 (pp. 95-134)
     -documenting sexism in language
     -naming practices, titles, marked/unmarked forms, 
     "generic he," lexical gaps, historical processes of 
      pejoration/amelioration of gender references
Paper by Mueller and Hassan
     -grammatical gender, occupational terms
     -determinants of marking by children and adults in 
Exam on Friday, Feb 26

Week 7
Chapter 7 (pp. 174-195)
     -language intervention and change
     -case studies of intervention and change
     -Guidelines for Nonsexist Language Usage
Paper by Cooper
     -measuring change in written usage

Week 8
Chapter 6 (pp. 135-173)
     -how ways of speaking acquire social meaning
     -roles of individuals, institutions, processes of
     -models of explanation for gender differences:
          structure and agency model
          linguistic determinism model (Whorfian hypothesis)
          discourse model of social reality
Exam on Friday, March 12

Weeks 9-15  Research Project
     -Record speech sample of language in use: permission,
     numbers of participants, gender of and relationship 
     between participants, settings, language, 

     -Transcribe five minutes of the data:  transcription
     conventions for turn-taking, intonation, phonetic notation,

     -Analyze the transcript:  compare the volubility of male 
     and female participants, describe the turn-taking 
     conventions, topic control and topic maintenance, 
     interruptions, lexical choices, morphological and syntactic 
     devices of participants, and describe any contrasting 
     phonetic and phonological features of participants 
     relevant to gender differences.

     -Summarize each analysis (in writing).  With feedback 
     and suggestions from the instructor and the class, select 
     one analysis to be more fully expanded for the final 

Final Exam  Friday, May 7 8-10:30 AM  Attendance 

     Final papers will be presented during the time scheduled 
for the final exam.  A compilation of all satisfactory papers 
from this course will be bound (with each student's 
permission) for the Women's Studies reading room.

Back to the Language and Gender page.   John Lawler