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Men's and women's dialects

CollectionsAboriginal Linguistics 1 / edited by Nicholas Evans & Steve Johnson. Armidale, NSW : University of New England, Dept. of Linguistics, 1988.
Title: Men's and women's dialects
Author(s): Kirton, Jean F.
Date published: 1988
Publisher: University of New England, Department of Linguistics
Citation: Kirton, Jean F. (1988). Men's and women's dialects. In N. Evans & S. Johnson (Eds.), Aboriginal linguistics 1 (pp. 111-125). Armidale, N.S.W: Dept. of Linguistics, University of New England
In the Yanyuwa language, there are separate dialects for the men and for the women, with differences of a kind normally associated with language dialects in separate locations. Reference has been made to this feature of Yanyuwa in earlier papers which describe pronominal sets, nouns and verbs in the language (see Kirton 1970:835-37, 840; 1971:9-10, 52-54; 1978:13-14). Within the dialect system, members of each sex speak their own dialect. They have a passive knowledge of the other dialect but do not normally use it. However, if a man directly quotes a woman he uses her dialect within that direct quotation, and if a woman directly quotes a man she similarly uses his dialect. (With the coming of a written form of Yanyuwa, it is appropriate to read aloud what is written in the writer's dialect. This is a prolonged form of direct quotation.) Traditionally, small children were primarily with their mothers or other female relatives as they went hunting and in the domestic situation. A simpler form of language was used with the small children: certain consonant changes were made and some prefixes were omitted, but they grew up hearing the women's dialect, and to a lesser extent, the men's. At the time of initiation, the boys were removed to live in an exclusively male group and they were then expected to move into use of the men's dialect at the time of attaining manhood. The purpose of this paper is (i) to take an introductory look at some research on general features of differences in the speech of men and of women in English and in certain other languages, and (ii) to describe the differences in the men's and women's dialects of Yanyuwa in the language as a whole.
ISBN: 085834857 G
ISSN: 1034-5140


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