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Academic Paper

Title: Growing up and apart: Gender divergences in a Chicagoland elementary school
Author: Richard Cameron
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: A characteristic of children's social orders is gender segregation. When children can choose, girls play more with girls and boys with boys. This begins around age three and peaks in later childhood. If children separate into same-gender groups, their interactions across the gender line will not be as frequent as those with members of the same sex. Following on Bloomfield's assertion (1933:46) that “density of communication” results in the “most important differences of speech” within a community, I predict that differences will increasingly emerge between girls and boys. I test this using two sociolinguistic variables, (dh) and (ing), in the English spoken by children in an elementary school. The prediction is supported. Results contribute to research into language socialization and the acquisition of gendered linguistic expression.


This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 22, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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