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  • 351. Zimmerman, Olle
    A study of hedges and related phenomena in the speech of some public women and men2000Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen)Studentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    The notion of hedges is maybe not a well-known phenomenon to the average speaker, in any language. Nonetheless, we all use hedges every day, probably without being aware of it. What, then, is a hedge? According to The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (1997) a hedge is, ”any linguistic device by which a speaker avoids being compromised by a statement that turns out to be wrong, a request that is not acceptable, and so on.” For example, instead of saying ‘Freddie Mercury is the best singer in the world’ one could use a hedge and say ‘Freddie Mercury is probably the best singer in the world’. Some claim that the use of hedges is a sign of weakness and that women tend to make use of hedges more frequently than men. These claims made me curious and thus led me to investigate whether the claims were true or not. This essay, A Study of Hedges and related phenomena in the Speech of Some Public Women and Men, compares the use of hedges between women and men. It also tries to determine whether some hedges tend to occur more often with women than with men and vice versa. In addition, it tries to identify the function of hedges in discourse. I have added the term ‘related phenomena’ (George Lakoff 1973:473) to the heading, because as the investigation proceeded I noticed that it is not entirely correct to label all expressions, commonly referred to as hedges, as hedges in the sense that is stated in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (1997). This investigation is based on two episodes from the British talk show Hard Talk and one episode from the American talk show Larry King Live. The study was made on VCR recorded material. If we look at the total number of hedges in both Hard Talk and Larry King Live, this investigation, generally, confirms the assumption that women use more hedges than men. However, the hedges and related phenomena used in this study do not seem to indicate weakness. Rather they indicate communicative competence with the person using them. This investigation also shows that there does not seem to be a bias for some hedges to occur with women or for some to occur with men. The most common hedge in this study is I think. One important function of some hedges seems to be to state that what you are saying is your personal opinion and not ”the truth”. Another function is to hedge out of politeness, that is, you do not want to appear too self-assured, so by hedging you may win confidence and by that you are using your communicative competence. I hope that my findings have contributed some to the study of hedges and thus will inspire other people to further investigate this vast and interesting area of hedges and related phenomena.

  • 352.
    Åkerlund, Sanna
    Karlstads universitet, Estetisk-filosofiska fakulteten.
    Searching for the Ghost of Tom Joad: An ideological Analysis of the Lyrics on Bruce Springsteen's record The Ghost of Tom Joad2008Studentarbete övrigtStudentuppsats
    Abstract [en]

    The essay is an ideological study of Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics on the album The Ghost of Tom Joad. The main focus is on the ideas about American society with two main themes: the American dream and the working class hero. The aim is to trace the moral vision expressed in the lyrics. This is done by quoting certain parts of the different songs on the album, followed by comments on what the lyrics can be said to represent. The main character on the album is Tom Joad, who Springsteen uses, inspired by a character in John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath. The essay contains a brief description of the historical context of the 1930s, and if and how the symbolic meaning of Tom Joad has changed from the 1930s to the 1990s. The conclusion of the essay shows how Springsteen’s lyrics focus on the problems that the American nation has, and how the lyrics creates awareness among people to take an ethical stand. Through the lyrics Springsteen provides hope and encouragement to people struggling in an unfair society. Tom Joad is still a symbol of a human being with collective awareness; what has changed from the 1930s to the 1990s is that American society has become even tougher to survive in if you are an outsider.

  • 353.
    Öberg, Emil
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013).
    Identitetens språk: Svensklärares attityd till dialekt i Värmland2013Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (masterexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
  • 354.
    Öhrn, Johanna
    Karlstads universitet, Estetisk-filosofiska fakulteten.
    Läsinlärningsprocessen: Hur arbetar pedagoger med läsinlärning?2011Studentarbete övrigt, 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
  • 355.
    Östervald, Malin
    Karlstads universitet, Estetisk-filosofiska fakulteten.
    Algunas estrategias didácticas para mantener la motivación en el aprendizaje del español: Un estudio en dos escuelas suecas de noveno grado2008Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats
  • 356.
    Östlund, Fredrik
    Karlstads universitet, Institutionen för kultur och kommunikation.
    British vs American English: Pronunciation in the EFL Classroom2006Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats
    Abstract [en]

    Today English is a world language; it is spoken by millions both as first and second language almost all over the world. The varieties best known to Swedish pupils are the varieties British and American English. Another variety of English, which is spoken by both native and non-native speakers, is a mixture of British English and American English called Mid-Atlantic English. As long as the English language has been a part of the Swedish curriculum, the leading variety taught has been British English, but lately American English has influenced Swedish teenagers because of its prominent status in media. Since both British English and American English are used in Swedish schools, different attitudes can be perceived among pupils and teachers towards these two varieties. The aim of this paper is to determine if Swedish pupils are using British or American English or if they mix these two varieties. Attitudes and prejudice amongst pupils and their teachers towards these two varieties are looked into as well as whether the pupils speak the variety of English they claim they speak. The question of why the pupils speak the variety they do is also investigated. The results show that most pupils mix British and American English and that American English features predominate in the mix. According to this investigation, teachers and pupils find British English to be a bit “snobbish” while American English can sound a bit “cocky” to them. This investigation concludes that the two major influences on the pupils are their teachers and different kind of media.

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