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Zeitschrift für germanistische Linguistik

Deutsche Sprache in Gegenwart und Geschichte

Ed. by Ágel, Vilmos / Feilke, Helmuth / Linke, Angelika / Lüdeling, Anke / Tophinke, Doris

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Volume 40, Issue 1


Sprache und Geschlecht im universitären Diskurs

Dr. Erik Schleef


Based on a qualitative, discourse-analytic and a quantitative, sociolinguistic analysis, this article investigates four sets of linguistic features and their occurrence in recordings of 36 lectures and interactional classes collected at a university in Germany. It examines how structural markers, questions, question tags, and turn-initial response tokens contribute to variations of style in response to academic division, speech mode, communicative role in academic discourse and gender. Of these four factors, the latter appears to be the least influential in the use of the structures investigated, due to, as is argued, global discourse restrictions in academic speech. Qualitative analysis shows that global restrictions can be overridden locally as certain discourse contexts are amenable to the appearance of features that contribute to more interactional and cooperative speech styles, frequently linked to females. The article concludes that a foundational understanding of relevant discourse genres and their constraints and a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods can make an important contribution to a better understanding of the dynamics of language and gender.


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About the article

Published in Print: 2012-06-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für germanistische Linguistik, Volume 40, Issue 1, Pages 1–34, ISSN (Online) 1613-0626, ISSN (Print) 0301-3294, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zgl-2012-0002.

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