LINGUIST List 14.1530

Wed May 28 2003

Diss: Socioling: Sourour: 'Gender Differences...'

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <>


  1. hala_taw, Gender Differences in requesting speech act...

Message 1: Gender Differences in requesting speech act...

Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 06:21:31 +0000
From: hala_taw <>
Subject: Gender Differences in requesting speech act...

Institution: Ain Shams University
Program: Department of English
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Hala Tawfik Sourour 

Dissertation Title: Gender Differences in requesting speech act: a
contrastive sociolinguistic study of standard american and the variety
of the educated Cairene

Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics 

Subject Language: English (code: ENG )

Dissertation Director 1: Mohamed Ramzy Radwan
Dissertation Director 2: Soheir Gamal Mahfouz

Dissertation Abstract: 

The study addresses the impact the independent variable of gender has
on the levels of directness/indirectness as well as politeness in the
request acts performed by Am. and Eg. Cairene native speakers. Like
other speech acts, requests can be revealing as far as social
arrangements and values are concerned. The study is an attempt to
reveal social variation: how males and females may differ in their
linguistic behavior in the same situation.

The main instrument used to collect data is a questionnaire that
successfully elicited the total number of 2461 requests, provided by
four groups: Am. males, Am. females, Eg. males and Eg. females. The
questionnaire items are designed according to four main variables: sex
of addressee, power, social distance, and degree of imposition. Each
item is a snapshot of a "Speech Event" with the main components of
Ends, Setting, and Participants.

The elicited requesting acts are analyzed on the levels of syntactic
patterns, and strategy types to measure the levels of directness/
indirectness. Referential strategies, internal modifiers, and
supportive moves are examined as potential indicators of
politeness/impoliteness strategies. Results and findings are
substantiated by tables and figures. Through inter-group comparison,
similarities and differences between Am. and Eg. males and females are
detected in one aspect of communicative competence: requesting.
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