December 2007. Volume 2 Issue 3
The Gender Linked Differences in the Use of Linguistic Strategies
in Face-to-face Communication
Reza Ghafar Samar & Goodarz Alibakhshi
Tarbiat Modares University, Iran
Reza Ghafar Samar is an assistant professor of (Socio)linguistics and Second Language Acquisition at Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran. He holds a Ph.D. from University of Ottawa, Canada in Applied-Sociolinguistics, an MA in TEFL from Tarbiat Modares University and a BA in English Language and Literature from Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran. He specializes in Sociolinguistics (Variation Theory, Bilingualism, and Language change) and its application in Second/Foreign Language Acquisition. He is the author of numerous articles appearing as book chapters or in journals such as International Journal of Bilingualism.
Goodarz Alibakhshi is a doctoral student of applied linguistics at Tarbiat Modares University. He has been teaching linguistics, teaching methodology, testing and research methodology at Iran state and nonstate universities for several years. He has presented several papers at international conferences and published three papers in national and international journals. His main interest is in testing, teaching methodology, research, sociolinguistics and critical applied linguistics.
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Research on language and gender interaction is well into its third decade and the related review of literature has shown that males and females tend to differ in face-to-face speech and in written language (e.g., Lackoff 1990, Mulac 1989, Tannen 1990). Yet there have been surprisingly few contributions from the Persian language to the exploration of cross-linguistic literature on the topic. This study is an attempt to provide a report on face-to face communications in Persian language. To carry out the study male-male, male-female, and female-female communications were examined in terms of linguistic strategies (e.g., interruption, intensifiers, amount of speech, topic raising) used by participants. The data of the study were collected through observations. The data were analyzed through descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of the study indicate that there is a significant difference between males and females in the use of linguistic strategies in male-male and female-female communications. The results also indicate that there is an interaction between gender and experience, education and power of the interlocutors in the use of linguistics strategies.
Key words: gender differences, face-to-face communication, linguistic strategies, Persian