A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Gender-Bound Language Use in Turkish and English Plays: Implications for Foreign Language Education

Zubeyde Sinem Genc, Kıymet Selin Armagan

Abstract


The aim of the study is to investigate gender-bound language use in Turkish and English languages and to identify the differences and similarities across cultures and genders in the plays with family and social themes. Four English and five Turkish plays were chosen randomly for comparison. The number of words in the plays were taken into consideration for an accurate and balanced analysis. For this reason, the closeness of the number of words used by male and female characters in the plays were more important than the number of plays in total. The Turkish plays consisted of 6781 words and the English plays comprised 7091 words. Thus, in the plays considered as samples of language, a total of 13.872 words were studied with respect to the use of intensifiers, hedges and tag questions in two major groups: (1) cross gender & same culture, (2) same gender & cross culture, within the framework of Lakoff’s (1975) proposal concerning linguistic differences between males and females. A Pearson chi-square test was conducted on the quantitative data for all the analyses. The findings of the study showed that there were significant differences only in the use of hedges. No significant differences in the use of intensifiers and tag questions within the corpus under investigation were observed between the groups. This cross-cultural comparison on English and Turkish implies that Lakoff’s proposition regarding gender-bound language use needs further exploration. The study sheds light upon intercultural communication, and raises awareness and understanding of whether and how language use differs between different genders and cultures, which might be helpful for teachers and learners during the processes of teaching and learning English or Turkish as a foreign language. Furthermore, when the results of the study are considered from the point of intercultural communication, this investigation unveils the similarities and differences between English and Turkish languages in terms of use of intensifiers, hedges, and tag questions.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v6i2.2812

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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