Dissertation > Language, writing > Chinese > Semantics,vocabulary, word meaning ( exegesis )

A Conversational Analysis Approach to Gender Language in TV Dating Show

Author DuJingXia
Tutor GaoXiaoFang
School Central China Normal University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords gender language conversation analysis TV dating show Fei Cheng Wu Rao
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Since human beings are the creators and users of language, language use inevitably bear gender-related features. For a long time, people have shown great interest in gender language study. Gender language as an essential social variable has become a hot research issue in sociolinguistics and pragmatics. Previous researches on gender language mainly focus on the linguistic level like phonology, lexicon, syntax, etc., gender differences and gender language sexism. With the development of society, gender language is expanding its research field in language study, and new research theories and methods emerge, too. Compared with related studies abroad, researches on gender language at home is still in its infancy and studies with Chinese language as the analysis data source are relatively rare.Based on the previous research achievements, this study explores gender language in modern TV dating show drawing on conversation analysis as the theoretical framework. Conversation analysis concerns the interactional communication of the participants, which is quite applicable and useful in investigating gender language. This study creatively conducts an objective and systematic analysis of gender language in Fei Cheng Wu Rao from three aspects, namely conversational structure (interruption and overlap), conversational strategies (silence, minimal response, hedge and nonverbal language) and conversational styles (amount of talk, politeness and directness). It adopts the comparison and contrast methods as well as qualitative and quantitative methods for the sake of reliability and rationality of the study.Fei Cheng Wu Rao enjoys a high audience rate and supplies abundant data for the present gender language study. This study selects every first episode from each month in the year2011as the data source. Results and findings about gender language in the TV dating show are as follows:In terms of conversational structure, men contribute more interruptions than women in conversational interactions and their cooperative and uncooperative interruptions are almost the same; as for overlap, men in this dating show are more inclined to adopt overlaps, most of which are cooperative in nature.From the aspect of conversational strategies, silence does not occur much because of the arrangement of the program. Silence by the males is in a relatively high number used to gain some time for thinking before speaking or to express disagreement or refusal in an indirect way. On nonverbal language level, women show more facial expression, smile and eye contact, whereas a man with rich facial expression would be considered as immature or lack of steady personality. Minimal responses like "yeah","right","oh", etc. employed by both men and women are almost in the same number. They are mainly used to gain extra time for thinking, show active listenership and encourage the speaker to continue his/her speech. Study on hedges shows that the male guests mainly adopt hedges to interpret the reason for not succeeding in taking a girl as his girlfriend on stage while the females use hedges more often to soften the criticism or negative comments force.From the conversational style aspect, women are more likely to compliment others and more willing to accept compliments by others than men do. Generally speaking, people tend to praise women on their characters, physical appearance, family, etc. while compliment men on their careers, educational background and achievements. Study on the amount of talk conveys that there is no big difference between the two genders’ language. However, it is worth being pointed out that the male honored guest outtalks the female honored guest to a great extent. As for directness and indirectness in expression, women’s bold and direct expression is one eye-catching feature of Fei Cheng Wu Rao. In delivering criticism and negative comments, both genders tend to choose the indirect style. Under the circumstance of refusal, women are more inclined to employ the indirect way while men use the explicit expression.In summary, the results of the present study confirm some previous findings by scholars like Lakoff and Homles while they also challenge some previous findings and reveal new characteristics of gender language in the specific context. After the systematic and close conversational analysis, the study goes deeper to probe into the underlying reasons for the gender language and new changes demonstrated in the TV dating show including biological, psychological, social and other specific factors.At last, the author points out misunderstandings existing in cross-gender communications in the TV dating show and put forward some practical suggestions for facilitating smooth and successful communication outcomes. This study has its own significance both theoretically and practically in the hope of enriching research achievements in gender language field and contributing its own part to gender language study.

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