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Language and gender: Male domination among the Kikuyu of Kenya, East Africa
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education.
2006 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Language and gender is one of the most intriguing and interesting areas in sociolinguistic study. It investigates how men and women (or boys and girls) use language differently in social contexts.

Extensive study and research has been carried out in this field, particularly in regard to the English language. Eminent linguists such as Ronald Wardhaugh, David Crystal, Ralph Fasold, and Deborah Tannen have studied varying male-female use of the English language. They have also attempted comparison with other languages and cultures. Wardhaugh, for instance, has studied male-female use of language in English, American-Indian languages (such as Gros Ventre), Asian and Oriental languages (Yukaghir, Japanese) among others, and his findings have become the subject of several of his published works.

In their investigations they have found that almost invariably, the way men use language shows them to be socially dominant over women. This persists even in such cases as in the Malagasy language spoken in Madagascar, where men display linguistic characteristics more popularly associated with women and vice versa (Wardhaugh).

This paper seeks to determine whether men use language to dominate women among the Kikuyu ethnic group of Kenya, East Africa, to which I belong. Areas such as terms used to refer to men and women, taboo language and language use in marital situations are examined, among others. I also attempt to find out what influence this has had on English spoken in Kenya.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006.
Keywords [en]
Kikuyu, man, tradition, discourse, domination, submission, woman, speech, language, gender, conversation, non-standard language, linguistic, taboo
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-272OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-272DiVA, id: diva2:5920
Presentation
2006-06-26
Uppsok
humaniora/teologi
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2006-06-30 Created: 2006-06-30 Last updated: 2018-01-11

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • rtf