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Academic Paper

Title: PICE: Four strategies for BBS talk in Taiwan and their interactions with gender configuration and topic orientation
Paper URL:
Author: W. Chiang
Institution: National Taiwan University
Author: Pei-Shu Tsai
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: National Yang-Ming University
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: The relationship between gender and discourse has been the focus of a substantial body of research over the past decade. Theories of gender discourse are generally based on one of three models: (a) the dominance model, (b) the difference model, or (c) the postmodern paradigm. This study applies those three models to data found in 189 conversations collected from BBS sites in Taiwan. Specifically, this paper investigates the effect of gender configuration (single- vs. cross-gender) and topic orientation (informational vs. emotional) on the use of four particular strategies in Mandarin BBS discourse: use of sentence-final particles (p), intensifiers (i), code switching (c), and emoticons (e), which together form the acronym PICE. Our data show significant relationships between: (a) gender configuration and the use of utterance-final particles, intensifiers, and emoticons of embarrassment; (b) topic orientation and the use of happiness emoticons. The data also demonstrate effects of gender-topic interaction on the use of code switching. Our analysis illustrates how each of the three models of gender discourse above can explain part of the interaction between gender configuration, topic orientation, and PICE. Our results also demonstrate the importance of comparing single-gender with cross-gender data to investigate gender-based patterns in communication.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Language and Linguistics, 8.2:417- 446, 2007

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