19.  RAE A. MOSES, Northwestern University

Linguistics C18
Northwestern University
Department of Linguistics
Language and Gender
Professor Rae A. Moses
Office Hours: M 10:30-11:30 T 1:30-3:00
and by appointment

1. They Used to Call Me Snow  White,... but I Drifted, 
    Regina  Barreca, Penguin, 1990.
2. Women, Men and Language, Jennifer Coates, Longmans, 
3. The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing, Casey Miller and Kate 
    Swift, Barnes & Noble, 1981.
4. Language, Gender, and Society, Thorne, Kramarae, Henley, 
    Newbury, 1983.
5. Xeroxed Reading

EVALUATION:  Three of the weekly projects (A-I) must be 
turned in.  Late mid-term.  A project or research paper (8-
10 pages).

10% Article report & class participation
30% Projects to be written up
30% Midterm
30% Project


9/21  Introduction to the scope of the field.  An overview of 
   language differences of women and men and how language 
   refers to them.

9/23  What is gender and how are the differences learned? 
   How does the language we speak reflect gender 

2.  Part One

A. Reflect on your own youth.  Are there ways that you were 
   socialized to speak a male or female code?  What models of 
   communication were present?  How does your early 
   experience affect the way you use language today?  Relate 
   to readings and lecture.

9/28  A history of the literature on gender differences in 
   language and how to find our way through the 

   4.  Thorne/Karamarae Henley

9/30  How does language refer to gender?  Theories about 
   the effect of speaking differently and of language structure 
   differences.  How does language shape thinking?

   5.  Sampson,"The  Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis"

   B. Poll 8 family or friends.  How do they believe men's and 
   women's language are different?  Evaluate their responses 
   in terms of the readings.

10/5  The historical roots of belief about language.  The 
   history of words.

   4.  Martyna

10/7  Grammar and Gender and the making of masculine 
   and feminine.

   4.  Mackay
   5.  Dennis  Baron, "Etymologizing Man and Woman", 
   "Grammar and Gender"  (Ch. 9)

   C.  Find a text that uses sexist language and comment on 
   the nature of the usage.  Relate to readings. 

10/12  Making changes and finding new ways of expressing 

   3. Ch. 4,5,6

10/14   Women's ways with words, some evidence.

   2.  Part Two Ch. 4,5

   D.  Find or compose a text that is radical (uses she 
   generically, varies pronouns, uses funny words).  Present it 
   to 3 or 4 people and get their reaction.

10/19  The sociolinguistic status of men's and women's 
   speech.  How are the differences regarded?

   2.  Part Two, Ch. 6
   4.  Nichols

10/21  The differences in how we talk:  conversation 
   interruption, topic control and silence.

   4. West

   E.  Eavesdrop on a mixed sex dyad or record one of your 
   own conversations; note the characteristics in terms of our 

10/26  The differences in sound systems, word choice and 

  4.  McConnell-Ginet

10/28  They ways we learn sex differences and children's 

   2.  Ch. 7

   F.  Find a child in the park or supermarket (or perhaps 
one you know).  Note the ways you can tell the gender of the 
child (clothes, activities, language).

11/2  Gossip, Joking and Naming ourselves:  some special 
   functions of language.

   5. Moses, "Naming Ourselves"

11/4  Language in FamiliesHow do we talk to each other?

   4.  Fishman  Sattel

   G.  Interview four males and four females about their 
   desires regarding name change at marriage.  Describe any 
   you find. 


   Observe joking behavior between you and friends of the 
   opposite sex and same sex.  Comment.

11/9  "Hate speech" and "Politically Correct"

   5.  Ruth Perry,  A short history of the term "Politically 

11/11  Essay -- Mid-term (30%)

11/17  Talking about medical matters.

   5.  Emily Martin,"Medical Metaphors of Women's 
   Bodies:  Menstruation and Menopause 
  West,  Metaphors of gender.

11/18  The role of sex differences in language history and 
   some conclusions.

2.8, 9

11/23  I.  Are there issues you find easier to talk about with 
   same sex and opposite sex friends?


   Write a discussion question that is appropriate for this 
   class and then answer it.

***PROJECTS ARE DUE WEDNESDAY, December 7, 1992 by 


The projects for this class are intended to give you an 
opportunity to work with issues of language and gender in a 
first-hand manner.  You shoud find some question or issue 
for which you can collect some language data or can observe 
and note some feature of language.  The feature of language 
which you select might be a matter of sexism in language or 
a way of avoiding it;  it might be a way in which males 
and/or females talk;  or you could examine some aspect of 
language use like topic choice or interruption patterns;  it 
could be a feature of a written text or language as it is used 
orally (e.g. television broadcasters or university professors.) 
You might also take up a practise such as forms of address 
(Mr. vs. Miss, Mrs., Ms.).  Your project could also take up an 
attitude about language and involve a questionnaire and/or 
interview.  It is very important that the project have some 
connection to the topics found on the syllabus and in the 
readings.  The bibliography at the end of Thorne, Henley and 
Kramarae provides a catalogue of references.  You might 
think about replicating or altering one of these studies.

I expect your project to be 8-12 pages, but quality is not to 
be confused with length.  You should describe the question 
you are investigating and how you intend to investigate it 
(methodology).  You should then explain what has been done 
on the topic by others or what others have said about it and 
explain why the question or topic is important.  Then you 
should present your results.  You may want to comment on 
the results, but it is not important that you say somehting 
new or prove something.  Many of the projects will only 
provide new questions.  What I'm really interested in is that 
you have played with some language and tried to reason 
about it.

As I have said, I am happy to have you collaborate in groups 
of two or three.  I will, of course, expect collaborators to 
show more work than solo projects.  All members of 
collaborations will get the same number of points for their 

A Selected Bibliography on Langage and the Sexes
Prof. Rae A. Moses

Aufderheide, Patricia (ed.)   Beyond P.C.  (Graywolf Press, St. 
   Paul, 1992).  Collection on the P.C./Free Speech 
Bernard, Jessie.  The Sex Game (First published 1968) 
   (Antheneum, NY, 1972).  A study of the communication 
   between the sexes. 
*Baron, Dennis.  Grammar and Gender  (Yale University 
   Press, 1986).  A comprehensive history of gender in 
   language, especially grammatical gender, but also lexical 
*Cameron, Deborah.  Feminism and Linguistics Theory  (St. 
   Martin's Press, NY 1985).  Examines the place of language 
   in feminist theory.
Coates, Jennifer and Deborah Cameron.  Women in Their 
   Speech Communities  (Longmans, 1988).  Readings 
   especially cross-cultural.
Eakins, B.W. and C. Eakins.  Sex Differences in Human 
   Communication  (Boston ,1978).  A  particularly good 
   introduction to sex differences, especially non-verbal.
Kramarae, Cheris.  Women and Men Speaking  (Newbury, 
   Rowley, MA, 1981).  Feminist theorist uses a model of 
   'dominant' vs. 'muted' language.
Lakoff, Robin.  Language and Woman's Place  (Harper and 
   Rowe, NY, 1975).  A slim folume that summarizes both 
   women's language (especially politeness) and the sexism of 
   our language.
*Maring, Emily.  The Woman in the Body  (Beacon Press, 
   Boston, 1987).  Women's bodies as metaphor.
Mead, Margaret.  Male & Female  (Apollo Press, 1949). 
   Classic on development of gender and gender in U.S.
Miller, Casey and Kate Swift.  Words and Women   (Anchor 
   Press, Doubleday, Garden City, 1976).  Sexism and language 
   of the sexes -- a general introduction.
*_____________________.  The Handbook of Non-Sexist 
   Writing  (Women's Press, 1980).  Thoughtful writer's 
Nilsen, Alleen Pace, Haig Bosmajian, H. Lee Gershuny and 
   Julia Stanley.  Sexism and Language   (NCTE, Urbana, 
   1977).  A collection of articles about sexism in language, 
   especially textbooks.
*Penfield, Joyce (ed.) Women & Language in Transition 
   (SUNY Press, 1987).  Reader good on sexism and diversity.
Phillips, Susan, Susan Steele and Christine Tanz.  Language, 
   Gender & Sex in Comparative Perspective  (Cambridge, NY, 
Silberstein, Sandra.  Bibliography:  Women and Language 
   (Michigan Occasioal Paper No. XII, Winter, 1980).  An 
   updated bibliography which is a good source for 
   unpublished manuscripts.
Smith, Philip M.  "Sex Markers in Speech", Social Markers in 
   Speech  (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1979). 
   Nice literature review of gender differences.
Spender, Dale.  Man Made Language  (Routledge and Kegan 
   Paul, London, 1980).  One of the most recent overviews of 
   sexist language and women's language use. 
*Tannen, Deborah.  You Just Don't Understand  (Wm. Morrow 
   & Co., NY, 1990).  Best seller that argues that men use 
   language to establish place in social hierarchy but women 
   use it as social glue that establishes intimacy, leading to 
   male-female communication problems.
*Thorne, Barrie and Nancy Henley.  Language and Sex, 
   Difference and Dominance  (Newbury, Rowley, MA, 1975). 
   Annotated bibliography, bibliographical overview plus 
  many classical articles.
*Thorne, Barrie, Cheris Kramarae and Nancy Henley (eds.) 
   Language, Gender and Society (Newbury, Rowley, MA, 
   1983).  Newer perspective on issues raised in 1975 book 
   with excellent bibliography. 
*Todd, Alexandra Dundas.  Intimate Adversaries:  Cultural 
   Conflict Between Doctors and Women Patients  (University 
   of Penn Press, Philadelphia, 1989). 
Stewart, Lea, Pamela Cooper and Sheryl Friedley. 
   Communication Between the Sexes, Gorsuch Scarisbrick 
   (Scottsdale, AR, 1986).  An excellent text that focuses on 
   sex role stereotypes.  Especially good on classroom, media 
   and business communication.


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