13.  MARY JANE HURST, Texas Tech University

Home Telephone: 806-794-1367; Office Telephone: 806-742-
2544; Office Fax: 806-742-0989; e-mail address (not totally 
reliable): ditmg@ttacs1.ttu.edu

Course Information: English 5337
Special Topics in Linguistics: Language and Gender

Dr. Mary Jane Hurst
Texas Tech University

Course Objectives and Course Design
   Our primary goal will be to explore the relationship 
between gender and language at an introductory graduate 
level.  We will first learn some basic principles of language 
study, and then we will investigate various linguistic 
approaches to the topic of gender and language.  Aside from 
some introductory background lectures, the first three-
fourths or so of the semester will be arranged around 
discussions of assigned readings.  The last part of the 
semester will be devoted to student presentations.  The 
presentations will apply course concepts in the analysis of 
texts.  This course will generally operate as a seminar; 
students should not expect a lecture-driven course.

Required Books and Materials

Baron, Dennis.  Grammar and Gender.  New Haven: Yale UP, 
Cameron, Deborah, ed.  The Feminist Critique of Language: A 
   Reader.  New York:  Routledge, 1990.
Frank, Francine Wattman, and Paula A. Treichler.  Language, 
   Gender and Professional Writing.  New York: MLA, 1989. 
   (Reading assignments from this book are designated as 
   MLA on the syllabus.)
Nilsen, Alleen Pace, Haig Bosmajian, H. Lee Gershuny, and 
   Julia P. Stanley.  Sexism and Language.  Urbana, IL: NCTE, 
   1977.  (Reading assignments from this book are designated 
   as NCTE on the syllabus.)
Philips, Susan U., Susan Steele, and Christine Tanz, eds. 
   Language, Gender & Sex in Comparative Perspective. 
   Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1987.

Other books and articles that are required reading will be 
available at the reserve desk of the library.  A complete list 
of these materials appears on another hand-out.  (Reading 
assignments from this group are designated on the syllabus 

Supplemental Readings

   The textbooks listed above contain excellent 
   A ten page list of supplemental readings and research 
sources is available at the campus copy shop.
   Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the course, 
researchers should be prepared to consult more than just the 
MLA Bibliography; reference indexes for psychology, history, 
linguistics, and other fields may be useful.  Popular 
periodicals sometimes discuss issues related to this course, 
so it might also be wise to check such sources as the Reader's 
Guide to Periodical Literature and the New York Times 
Index.  A list of selected reference sources and reference 
tools appears on another hand-out.

How To Contact Your Professor
   Visit her office during office hours or call her office 
(742-2544) at any time.
   Speak to her before or after class to set up an 
   Leave a written message with the English Department 
   Telephone the English Department (742-2501) and leave a 
message for her.
   Telephone her at home; please do not call after 9 P.M.

Course Requirements
   Students will attend class regularly, having done the 
assigned readings in advance, and will participate positively 
in class discussions.
   Students will take one written exam over the course 
material.  The test may include an out-of-class component as 
well as in-class writing; we will discuss the format of the 
exam well in advance of the examination date.
   Students will write a substantial paper (about 15-20 
pages) applying data from gender and language research in 
the explication of some text or portion of text.  Details on this 
assignment appear on another hand-out.  Students will select 
their own texts (which may be, but do not need to be, 
written texts and which may be, but certainly do not need to 
be, works of literature) and will prepare their papers in 
consultation with their professor.
   Students will discuss their research projects in oral 
presentations to the class.  After their oral presentations, 
students may revise their work based on class discussions 
and instructor comments.  Final papers will be accepted no 
later than noon on December 11.

General Class Policies
   An individual's final grade will be determined by the 
quality of that person's daily work, written exam, research 
paper, and oral presentation.  Questions about grades and 
grading policy are welcome at any time.  Assuming that a 
student's attendance, class preparation, and class 
participation are appropriate for a graduate course, the 
weight given to course work will be as follows: exam, 40% of 
final grade; oral presentation, 10% of final grade; and 
research paper, 50% of final grade.
   Students should plan to be present on exam day except in 
cases of extreme emergency.  Students will not have the 
opportunity to arrange individual make-up tests at their 
convenience.  In general, students should not expect to be 
able to arrange make-up tests at all.
   Students are encouraged to use computers in preparing 
their research papers.  On-campus computers are available 
for students to use in several locations including the ATLC in 
the library.
   Conferences with the professor are welcome and 
encouraged at any time.
   Any student who, because of a disability, may require 
special arrangements in order to meet course requirements 
should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make 
necessary accommodations.
   Other information about university policies can be located 
in the Undergraduate Catalog and in the Directory of Classes. 
Students with concerns not addressed in this policy 
statement should discuss their situations with their 
professor at their earliest convenience.

Language and Gender Syllabus: English 5337

Dr. Mary Jane Hurst
Texas Tech University

This syllabus is subject to change;
any alterations will be announced in class.

T SEPT 3   First day of class: course introduction and general 
discussion of topic using materials from popular culture.

Th SEPT 5   A brief overview: what is linguistics?

T SEPT 10   A brief overview and history: what is gender 
   and what does it have to do with language?
"Linguistic Sexism as a Social Issue" (NCTE);
"Introduction: Scholarship, Feminism, and Language
   Change" (MLA); and
Introduction to Part III and the two articles in Part III of 
   Language, Gender & Sex in Comparative Perspective.

Th SEPT 12   Examining texts with an eye toward gender and 
   language: some early practice.

T SEPT 17   Perspectives from historical linguistics.
Read:   Baron's Grammar and Gender.

Th SEPT 19   Other perspectives from historical linguistics.
"Gender Marking in American English" (NCTE);
"Sexism in the English Vocabulary" (NCTE);
"The Reconstruction of Word Meanings" (MLA);
"From Discourse to Dictionary" (MLA);
"The Sexual (Re)Production of Meaning" (MLA).

T SEPT 24   Perspectives from sociolinguistics.
Read:   all four articles in Part III of The Feminist Critique of 
Milroy, "Social Networks" (RESERVE); and 
Coates, "Quantitative Studies" (RESERVE).

Th SEPT 26   Other perspectives from sociolinguistics.
Read:   The Introduction and all five articles in Part I of
   Language, Gender & Sex in Comparative Perspective.

T OCT 1   Are we talking about sexism or feminism?
The Introduction and all eight articles in Part II of
   The Feminist Critique of Language; and
McConnell-Ginet, "Feminism in Linguistics" (RESERVE).

Th OCT 3   Are we talking about sexism or feminism?
"Sexism in the Language of Literature" (NCTE);
August, "Modern Men" (RESERVE);
Killingsworth, "Literary Rival ..." (RESERVE);
Brod, "Scholarly Studies of Men" (RESERVE); and 
Chapters 1, 2, and 3 in The Feminist Critique of Language.

T OCT 8   Are we talking about power and prestige?
"Sexism in ... Legislatures and Courts" (NCTE);
Chavez, "Sex Differences in Language Shift" (RESERVE);
Bourdieu, "The Economics of Linguistic Exchanges (RESERVE);
McConnell-Ginet, "Intonation in ..." (RESERVE); and
Fishman, "Interaction: The Work Women Do" (RESERVE).

Th OCT 10   Are we talking about power and prestige?
Satel, "Men, Inexpressiveness, and Power" (RESERVE);
West, "Small Insults: A Study of Interruptions" (RESERVE);
Henley, "Power, Sex, and Nonverbal ..." (RESERVE);
Tannen, "Interpreting Interruption ..." (RESERVE); and 
Case, "Communication Styles in Higher Education" (RESERVE).

T OCT 15   Is this an issue related to language acquisition?
Read:   All four articles in Part II of Language, Gender & Sex 
in Comparative Perspective.

Th OCT 17   Is this an issue related to language acquisition?
Gleason, "Men's Speech to Young Children" (RESERVE);
Eckert, "Cooperative Competition" (RESERVE); and
Maltz, "A Cultural Approach to Male-Female ..." (RESERVE).

T OCT 22   Applications for writing and teaching.
"Sexism in Children's Books" (NCTE);
Tannen, "Teachers' Classroom Strategies" (RESERVE);
Bolker, "Teaching Griselda to Write" (RESERVE);
Farrell, "The Female and Male Modes of Rhetoric" (RESERVE);
Pigott, "Sexist Roadblocks..." (RESERVE); and
Flynn, "Gender and Reading" (RESERVE).

Th OCT 24   More applications for writing and teaching.
"English Handbooks 1979-85" (MLA);
"Language Planning ..." (MLA);
the Appendix (NCTE); and
Part II of Language, Gender and Professional Writing (MLA).

T OCT 29   General discussion and review.

Th OCT 31   Exam.

T NOV 5   Discussion of research strategies and research 

Th NOV 7   Reports on individual research.
T  NOV 12  Reports on individual research.
Th NOV 14  Reports on individual research.
T  NOV 19  Reports on individual research.
Th NOV 21  Reports on individual research.
T  NOV 26  Reports on individual research.
Th NOV 28  Thanksgiving Holiday.  No classes.
T  DEC 3   Reports on individual research.
Th DEC 5   Reports on individual research.
T  DEC 10  Reports on individual research.
W  DEC 11  Final drafts of papers are due by noon.

English 5337: Language and Gender
List of Required Readings Available at the Library Reserve 

Dr. Mary Jane Hurst
Texas Tech University

Readings are listed in the order of their appearance on the 

Coates, Jennifer.  "Quantitative Studies."  Women, Men and 
Language.  New York: Longman, 1986.  57-78.

Coates, Jennifer.  "Social Networks."  Women, Men and 
Language.  New York: Longman, 1986.  79-95.

McConnell-Ginet, Sally.  "Feminism in Linguistics."  For Alma 
Mater: Theory and Practice in Feminist Scholarship.  Ed. 
Paula A. Treichler, Cheris Kramarae, and Beth Stafford. 
Urbana, IL: U of Illinois P, 1985.  159-76.

August, Eugene R.  "'Modern Men,' or, Men's Studies in the 
80s."  College English 44.6 (1982): 583-96.

Killingsworth, M. Jimmie.  "'A Literary Rival at Bed and 
Board': Conflict and Aspiration in the Hawthorne Household." 
The Markham Review 15 (1986): 41-43.

Brod, Harry.  "Scholarly Studies of Men: the New Field is an 
Essential Complement to Women's Studies."  The Chronicle of 
Higher Education 21 March 1990: B2-B3.

Chavez, Eliverio.  "Sex Difference in Language Shift." 
Southwest Journal of Linguistics 8.2 (1988): 3-14.

Bourdieu, Pierre.  "The Economics of Linguistic Exchanges." 
Social Science Information 16.6 (1977): 654-68.

McConnell-Ginet, Sally.  "Intonation in a Man's World."  Signs: 
Journal of Women in Culture and Society 3 (1978): 541-59.

Fishman, Pamela M.  "Interaction: The Work Women Do." 
Social Problems 25 (1978): 397-406.

Sattel, Jack W.  "Men, Inexpressiveness, and Power."  Social 
Problems 23 (1976): 469-77.

West, Candace, and Don H. Zimmerman.  "Small Insults: A 
Study of Interruptions in Cross-Sex Conversations between 
Unacquainted Persons."  Language, Gender, and Society.  Ed. 
Barrie Thorne, Cheris Kramarae, and Nancy Henley.  Rowley, 
MA: Newbury, 1983.  103-18.

Henley, Nancy.  "Power, Sex, and Nonverbal Communication." 
Language and Sex: Difference and Dominance.  Ed. Barrie 
Thorne and Nancy Henley.  Rowley, MA: Newbury, 1975. 

Tannen, Deborah.  "Interpreting Interruption in 
Conversation."  Papers from the 25th Annual Meeting of the 
Chicago Linguistics Society.  Part 2: Parasession on Language 
and Context.  Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, 1989.  266-

Case, Susan Schick.  "Communication Styles in Higher 
Education: Differences between Academic Men and Women." 
Women in Higher Education: Changes and Challenges.  Ed. 
Lynne B. Welch.  New York: Praeger, 1990.  94-118.

Gleason, Jean Berko, and Esther Blank Greif.  "Men's Speech 
to Young Children."  Language, Gender, and Society.  Ed. 
Barrie Thorne, Cheris Kramarae, and Nancy Henley.  Rowley, 
MA: Newbury, 1983.  140-50.

Eckert, Penelope.  "Cooperative Competition in Adolescent 
'Girl Talk.'"  Discourse Processes 13 (1990): 91-122.

Maltz, Daniel N., and Ruth A. Borker.  "A Cultural Approach to 
Male-Female Miscommunication."  Language and Social 
Identity.  Ed. John J. Gumperz.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 
1982.  196-216.

Tannen, Deborah.  "Teachers' Classroom Strategies Should 
Recognize that Men and Women Use Language Differently." 
The Chronicle of Higher Education 19 June 1991: B1 and B3.

Bolker, Joan A.  "Teaching Griselda to Write."  College English 
40.8 (1979): 906-908.

Farrell, Thomas J.  "The Female and Male Modes of Rhetoric." 
College English 40.8 (1979): 909-21.

Pigott, Margaret B.  "Sexist Roadblocks in Inventing, 
Focusing, and Writing."  College English 40.8 (1979): 922-27.

Flynn, Elizabeth A.  "Gender and Reading."  College English 
45.3 (1984): 236-53.

English 5337: Language and Gender
Instructions for Research Paper

   Write a paper which applies findings in gender and 
language research to the explication of some text or portion 
of text.  The choice of topic (that is, the text) is to be made 
by individuals in consultation with their professor.  After 
applying the findings to a text, each student should develop 
a thesis about his or her research and support that thesis in 
an academic, research-based essay of fifteen to twenty pages 
in length.  The primary audience for the paper will be the 
class and the professor, though students are encouraged to 
prepare their papers with an eye toward publishing them. 
Students will present their research to the class, and their 
work will be discussed by the other students in the class. 
Students will then be able to revise their material based on 
comments by the other students and the professor.

   1.  Choose your topic carefully.  Texts may be written or 
oral.  Feel free to discuss your topic ideas with me and with 
the entire class.  Some suggestions will be made in class.
   2.  Identify a number of features or variables which you 
wish to examine in your text.  Study the text according to 
these features.
   3.  Draw up a prospectus for your project (about one page; 
handwritten is fine) and submit that to me no later than 
October 29.
   4.  Background research for the papers can come in part 
from readings we have done in class.  It will be necessary, 
though, to do additional research beyond the course 
readings.  Enough source material and enough specific 
examples must be used in the paper to establish your thesis 
   5.  I will try to help you locate sources, but, for some 
topics, the reference librarians or professors in other 
departments may be more knowledgeable resources.
   6.  Based on your research and on your examination of 
your selected text, develop a thesis and organize your 
material around that thesis.  Then write the paper.
   7.  Essays should be written in a consistent style and tone 
appropriate for academic discourse.  Adherence to standard 
conventions of writing is expected.  Effective academic prose 
is, at best, readable, informative, direct, and persuasive.  It is 
not contrived, pretentious, or wordy.
   8.  Essays should be fifteen to twenty pages in length, 
typed and doublespaced.
   9.  Refer to the most recent edition of the MLA Style 
Manual for the bibliographical format expected in English 
Department papers.  Note especially that the current MLA 
format does not use footnotes to document sources.
   10.  Plan an interesting presentation of your research and 
your ideas for the class.  Exactly how much time each 
student will have for the oral presentation will depend on 
how many students there are in the class, but we can 
tentatively plan for each student to have forty minutes, with 
twenty minutes allotted for the actual presentation and 
twenty minutes allotted for discussion of the presentation.
   11.  You are encouraged to use a computer in preparing 
your manuscript.  If your paper is stored on disk, making 
corrections and revisions will be much simpler.

Due Dates:
   October 29:  last day to submit a prospectus.
   November 7 through December 10:  oral presentations.
   December 11:  final drafts of papers are due by noon.

Selected Reference Sources: Gender and Language

Selected Periodicals with Information Relevant for
Gender and Language Studies
(not an exhaustive list)

American Dialogue
American Speech
Anthropological Linguistics
Atlantis: A Women's Studies Journal
Children's Language
Feminist Studies
Herstory Microfilm Collection
Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy
Journal of Language and Communication
Journal of Linguistics
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research
Language and Communication
Language and Speech
Language in Society
Language Variation and Change
Linguistic Inquiry
New Directions for Women
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Sage; A Scholarly Journal on Black Women
SECOL Review
Sex Roles
Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
Southwest Journal of Linguistics
Style (and its annual bibliography!)
Theory and Society
Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature
Women and Language
Women and Performance
Women and Politics
Women's Studies Abstracts
Women's Studies in Communication
Women's Studies International Forum: A Multidisciplinary 
Women's Studies
Women's Studies Quarterly
The Women's Review of Books
Writing Women

Selected Reference Tools with Information Relevant for
Gender and Language Studies
(not an exhaustive list)

MLA Bibliography
America: History and Life
Humanities Index
Social Sciences and Humanities Index
Arts and Humanities Index
Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature
Philosopher's Index
Sociological Abstracts

If you do not know how to find or use any of the resources 
listed above, if you do not know how to use the on-line 
services (including "UNCOVER" and various on-line searches 
available on tools such as FirstSearch), or if you do not know 
how to access Interlibrary Loan, please see me or talk to one 
of the reference librarians.

English 5337: Language and Gender
Sample Test Questions

Sample Items Suitable for Identification Questions

Directions:  Write about a paragraph for each answer, giving 
as much information as possible (within the practical limits 
of time) to identify the entry and to explain its significance 
for  language and gender studies.

semantic derogation
covert prestige
interruption patterns
the etymology of man and woman
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
the etymology of male and female
sexism in language of courts
network theory
generic he
social solidarity
the etymology of gender
semantic derogation

Sample Items Suitable for Essay Questions

Directions: Write a fully developed essay about one of the 
following questions.  The essay should be arranged around a 
clearly-stated thesis, and that thesis should be supported 
with specific evidence and specific examples.  Appropriate 
references to existing research should be made in the essay. 
Adherence to conventions of standard written English is 

Offer an explanation to account for the presence of gender 
differences in American English.  Include in your discussion 
references to existing theories that have been developed to 
explain the presence of gender differences in language.

If someone were to say to you that the study of language 
and gender is relevant only for white, middle-class, English-
speaking feminists, how would you respond?

Identify the organization techniques that unify Baron's 
Grammar and Gender.  Evaluate the effectiveness of his 

Maltz and Borker present specific patterns of speech that 
have been attributed to boys and girls.  Discuss what these 
patterns are and whether you find (based on your research 
as well as on your person experience) that Maltz and 
Borker's conclusions are valid.

Describe and discuss two or three instances of sexism or 
reverse sexism that you have observed in the assigned 
readings of this course.  Discuss the significance of your 
observations for the works in which the sexist examples 
occur and for the credibility of the authors involved.

In his chapter on "Language and Sex,"  Peter Trudgill raises 
and refutes several sociological explanations for gender 
differences in men's and women's language before he 
presents his own theory.  Review his presentation and 
reconstruct his basic argument, discussing the viability of his 
theory as opposed to the ones he rejects.

Have male authors written about the topic of language and 
gender differently than female authors have written about 
the topic?  Consider methodological factors as well as social 
or political factors.

Provide a history of the stands taken by organizations such 
as NCTE and MLA on the issue of nonsexist language.

Who has written about issues of power and gender as they 
affect language use?  Describe some of the main points 
relating to power, gender, and language that have been 
presented in the literature to date.

Discuss patterns of gender differences in languages other 
than English.  How do these differences compare to gender 
differences in English?

Discuss, in a very specific format, applications of your 
readings in gender and language to your own work or study. 
Do not focus only on the research you are doing for your 
paper, although you may mention that application if it is 
relevant to your larger answer.

Back to the Language and Gender page.   John Lawler