Linguistic Gender Differences of Open University Students

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In the world of face to face communication, gender is one of the most obvious factors on affecting the perceptions of what people say and do. However,in the world of text-based computer–mediated communication, there are no visual or auditory cues to indicate the personal characteristics of a speaker. Gender is visible on the Internet on the basis of features of a participant’s dicourse style-features of which the individual may not be consciously aware ,that is, users ‘’give off’’ information about their gender unconsciously in interaction. In asynchrous CMC, males more likely to post longer messages,assert opinions strongly as ‘’facts’’ and in general manifest an adversarial orientation. They appear to be less concerned with politeness, they issue bald face-threatening acts such as unmitigated criticisms and insults, and tolarate flaming. In contrast, females tend to post relatively short messages and are more likely to qualify and justify their assertations, apologize, express support of others and manifest aligned orientation. In other words, they are more likely to thank and,appreciate. Hence, for males discourse tends to be struggle to preserve independence, and for females communication is inclined toward seeking and confirming intimicy, support and consensus. Thus, this study attempts to find out the linguistic gender differences of open university students in Anadolu University, while having text-based computer–mediated communication with their teachers. The study will identify the expressions from both groups, underlying the expressions of aggressiveness, supportiveness, questions and first person singular and plural usages. The study will shed light on the linguistic gender differences of open university students in CMC .


Keywords: CMC, Linguistic Gender Differences, Open University Students’ Discourse Style
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Linguistic Gender Differences of Undergraduate Students in CMC


Prof. Isil Acikalin

Faculty Member, Department of Foreign Language Education, Anadolu University
Eskisehir, Turkey

Isil Acikalin is a faculty member at the Department of Foreign Language Education at Anadolu University, Turkey. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in English linguistics with emphasis on sociolinguistics. She conducts research on language variation, linguistic gender differences, Turkish medical language and communication of doctors with their patients. She has published several research studies in both national and international peer-reviewed journals.

Ref: T08P0011