Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Women lead the way

Yesterday's Word of Mouth on Radio 4 had a really good discussion of how language change around the world - and not just in English, but other languages, including Arabic - is being led by young women. It's definitely worth a listen if you're revising gender for ENGA3 Language Variation or even Language Change and reasons for change.

You can find it here.

The focus on women as linguistic innovators is also picked up in this 2012 New York Times article, which suggests that features as diverse as vocal fry (or 'creaky voice'), high rising terminals and new slang are all driven by young women. It's not just in spoken language that women are having an impact; in this Slate piece from 2013, Amanda Marcotte looks at how language styles on Twitter are often related to gender and speculates on how this might lead to men adopting a more 'female' style (more emojis, ellipses and exaggerated punctuation).

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