24.  DEBORAH TANNEN, Georgetown University

Linguistics 684 
Gender Differences in Language Use
Spring 1989

     Note:  I last taught this course in Spring 1989, while I was
working on You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in
Conversation.  Some of the readings are outdated, but some are
classics.  If I were to teach the course again now, I'd probably
assign my own book and also the one I just finished editing: a
collection of papers entitled Gender and Conversational
Interaction to be published by Oxford University Press in a few
months.  I would also make Lakoff's Language and Woman's Place
required, for historical and foundational reasons.  I would not
use any of the other collections, but would put a packet together
from recent publications.  The outline of the course and its
concerns would probably not change.

                        Linguistics 684 
               Gender Differences in Language Use
                           Spring 1989

Time: Thursday 2:40 - 5:10

Prerequisite: Linguistics 484 Discourse Analysis: Conversation

Requirements: Attendance in class and participation in discussion
              Required reading (texts and packet)
              Outside reading (and oral & written summaries)
              Taping and transcribing conversation
              Research project and class presentation
              Written research paper (c. 15 pages)

Texts, Required:

Coates, Jennifer.  Women, Men, and Language.  Longman, 1986.
Thorne, Barrie, Cheris Kramarae, & Nancy Henley (eds.). 
 Language, Gender, and Society.  Newbury House, 1983.
Philips, Susan, Susan Steele, and Chris Tanz (eds.).  Language, 
 Gender, and Sex in Comparative Perspective.  Cambridge: 
 Cambridge U. Press, 1988.

Goffman, Erving.  Gender Advertisements.  Harper & Row, 1976.
Lakoff, Robin.  Language and Woman's Place.  Harper & Row, 1976.
Tannen, Deborah.  That's Not That What I Meant!  Ballantine, 

Recommended Subscriptions and Memberships: 
     Women and Language News
     Organization for the Study of Communication, Lg & Gender


1. To survey and evaluate the research that has been done on
gender differences in language use.

2. To do original research to clarify, verify, build on, and/or
otherwise contribute to that research.

This is an advanced course in conversational analysis.  Our
concern is gender differences in ways of speaking. 

Topics include:

Power and solidarity (Lakoff; Tannen; others)

Turntaking (Is it true that men interrupt women?  Zimmerman &
     West and critics, including Schegloff & Murray)

Topic (Is there a difference in what women and men talk about?)

Genres (anthropological work on men's and women's speech genres;
     Greece: Caraveli on women's laments; Herzfeld, The Poetics
     of Manhood; Ochs on Malagasy; Schieffelin on religious
     rites; American genres (tall tales, gossip, joke-telling,
     family stories, baseball stories, etc. etc.)

the role of conversation in relationships

public vs. private Domains

communicative styles (cooperation vs. competition; message vs.
     metamessage; indirectness; use of questions, tag questions,
     polite forms, other syntactic types)

the interaction of styles (complementary schismogenesis?)

men and women as listeners and speakers (Do men and women talk
     differently to men and women?  Do they listen differently?)

gender and sexual orientation 

Research paper:

A paper of at least 15 pages analyzing conversational tapes and
transcripts, including relevant literature review.

Topics may be chosen from the following list, or be approved by

--Compare men's and women's personals ads: What do women and 
say they want?
--Compare male and female callers to talk shows on topics of
interest to women and men
--Compare male and female questioners at meetings, in class
--overlaps and interruptions
--storytelling in conversation
--who talks more?
--uses of talk
--dominance: what linguistic strategies have been seen as showing
dominance?  How valid are these evaluations?
--exploring particular women's or men's genres (laments, joke-
telling, etc.)
--evaluation of women and men who use the same linguistic forms
--response to problems

                           Spring 1989
     Ling. 684 Gender Differences in Language Use (Tannen) 
                   Contents of Required Packet

1. Cover Sheet: List of Readings
2. List of Assignments (with due dates)
3. Bibliographies: Interruptions, Topic, Gossip, Books 
4. Required readings in order of assignment:

Fishman, Pamela M.  1978.  What do couples talk about when
     they're alone?  Women's language and style, ed. by
     Douglas Butturff, 11-22.  Akron, Ohio: Department of
     English, University of Akron.
Maltz, Daniel N., & Ruth A. Borker.  1982.  A cultural
     approach to male-female miscommunication.  In: John J.
     Gumperz (ed.), Language and social identity. 
     Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, pp. 196-216.
Henley, Nancy and Cheris Kramarae.  1988.  Miscommunication
     - Issues of gender and power.  Paper presented at the
     annual meeting of the National Women's Studies
     Association, Minneapolis. 
Aries, Elizabeth.  1976.  Interaction patterns and themes of
     male, female, and mixed groups.  Small Group Behavior
Aries, Elizabeth.  1982.  Verbal and nonverbal behavior in
     single-sex and mixed-sex groups: Are traditional sex
     roles changing?  Psychological Reports 51.127-34.
Leet-Pellegrini, H. M.  1980.  Conversational dominance as a
     function of gender and expertise.  Language: Social
     psychological perspectives, ed. by Howard Giles, W. Peter
     Robinson, and Philip M. Smith, 97-104.  Oxford: Pergamon.
Murray, Stephen O.  1985.  Toward a model of members' methods for
     recognizing interruptions.  Language in Society 13:31-40.
Murray, Stephen O.  1987.  Power and solidarity in
     "interruption": A critique of the Santa Barbara School
     conception and its application by Orcutt and Harvey (1985). 
     Symbolic Interaction 10:1.101-110.
Murray, Stephen O., and Lucille H. Covelli.  1988.  Women
     and men speaking at the same time.  Journal of
     Pragmatics 12:1.103-11. 
Talbot, Mary.  1988.  The operation was a success;
     unfortunately, the patient died: A comment on 'Women
     and men speaking at the same time' by Murray and
     Covelli.  Journal of Pragmatics 12:1.113-4.
Murray, Stephen O.  1988.  The sound of simultaneous speech,
     the meaning of interruption: A rejoinder.  Journal of
     Pragmatics 12:1.115-16.
Goffman, Erving.  1979[1976].  Gender display.  Gender
     advertisements, 1-9.  New York: Harper & Row.

                           Spring 1989
     Ling. 684 Gender Differences in Language Use (Tannen) 
                       List of Assignments

Date    Reading Due 


1/26  I: Lecture and Video Presentation 
        You: Tape conversations and begin transcribing

2/2     Tanz, Introduction, Pt II (163-77) (PST)
          Sachs, Preschool boys' and girls' lg use (PST)
          Goodwin & Goodwin, Children's arguing (PST)
          Schieffelin, different worlds/ different words? (PST)

2/9     Berko-Gleason, Men's speech to young children (TKH)
          Berko-Gleason, Sex diffs in parent-child inter. (PST)
          Fishman, Interaction: The Work Women Do (TKH)
          Fishman, What do couples talk about ... (packet)
          Maltz & Borker, A cultural approach ... (packet)
          Henley & Kramarae, Miscommunication ... (packet) 


2/16    Philips, Introduction, Pt. I (15-25) (PST)
          Shibamoto, The womanly woman (PST)
          Ochs, The impact of stratification ... (PST)
2/23    Philips & Reynolds: The interaction of ... (PST)
          Sherzer, A diversity of voices (PST)
          Hill, Women's speech in modern Mexicano (PST) 


3/2     Aries, Interaction patterns and themes ... (packet) 
          Aries, Verbal and nonverbal behavior ... (packet) 
          Leet-Pellegrini, Conversational dominance ... (packet)


3/16   West & Zimmerman, Small Insults (TKH)
          Murray, Toward a model of members' methods (packet)
          Murray, Power and solidarity in "interruption"
          Murray & Covelli, Women & men speaking ... (packet)
          Talbot, The operation was a success ... (packet)
          Murray, A rejoinder (packet)
          Sattel, Men, inexpressiveness, & power (TKH)

                           Spring 1989
     Ling. 684 Gender Differences in Language Use (Tannen) 
                       List of Assignments
                              p. 2


3/30   McConnell-Ginet, Intonation in a man's world (TKH)
          Goffman, Gender display (packet)
          Thorne, Kramarae, Henley, Lg, Gender & Society (TKH)
          Philips, Introduction (1-25) (PST)


          (We may have guest speakers on 4/6)

FINAL PAPERS DUE on the date for which a final exam is scheduled. 
No late papers or incompletes, for any reason. 

Back to the Language and Gender page.   John Lawler