There are several studies that have been conducted to analyse women’s and men’s speech across various cultural identities. The main goal of the studies has been to find out whether there is a difference in the way men and women speak. Speech behaviour of both genders can be analysed in respect to language usage, phonology, verbal choice and the general interactions between men and women in discourse.
Conventionally, most of the sociolinguists look at the issue of gender in discourse in connection with the level of education, ethnic background, socio-economic status and the age of the individuals involved. Most of the researches that have been conducted have shown that the difference in language mainly result from the perception that men dominate women and that the speech behaviour of the women is as a result of a deviation from the male speech norms (Fasold, 2000). According to some scholars, the male-female communication is cross-cultural and in most cases people from different genders often depicts different speech norms and usually have different expectations for their respective interlocutors.
Confusions and misunderstandings also arise between the sexes in discourse. In summary, we can say that men and women belong to two different cultures that are mainly caused by the association of power of the male and the cohesion on the female side. According to the linguistic research, gender is not just a matter of a biological difference in terms of sex of two individuals but also reflects an acquired form of speech behaviour that individuals may learn during their tender ages. Children usually learn their behaviour from parents and from their peers. When they are still young, children tend to associate more with fellow students of the same gender. This plays a very important role in determining how they behave as they grow up. This therefore becomes one of the main factors that determine the difference between the language behaviour of the two genders involved. When men and women are involved in discourse, several forms of misunderstanding may arise and this may result into unhappiness and a sense of bad feelings towards one another. A difference in culture can also lead to the same word being interpreted differently by men and women. Korean men and women do depict different forms of discourse depending on the context being addressed (Chambers, 2002).
Women’s speech in Korea can be described and compared in the areas of grammar, speech acts, lexis, semantic and phonology. Women’s speech can also be described using two main distinguishing features; expressiveness and politeness. This form of behavioural notion is however very different from the one that is depicted by men. Men are known to lack such qualities that are shown by women. The linguistic variations that is found in men’s and women’s speeches can be explained when the sociocultural norms of the Korean society is taken into consideration.
For a very long period of time, women have been seen to be linguistically lower than men. This has been cause by the fact that men dominate women and usually tend to look down upon women. Women’s language generally lacks authority as compared to that of their male counterparts. Women were also excluded from influential positions and this played a very important role in marginalizing the women. They therefore lack from public discourse and are often confined within the boundaries of their homes. Men on the other side are linguistically more aggressive than their female counterparts. Therefore men can use this advantage of conversing to attain and maintain status in the society. Korean women for instance tend to show some form of respect to their Korean men and their authorities are much weaker than those of the Korean men. Therefore the type of language that they use is also of much difference (Coates, 1998).
The relationship between language and gender has been a concept of much concern for quite a long period of time. Men have been viewed as a superior gender and in the past trampled upon women in various instances. Difference cultures hold different perceptions for the female species. In Korea for instance, there have been rampant discrimination against women based on the types of languages used to refer to them. There are various expressions commonly used in Korea that discriminate against women. Such expressions are only used by men as they are seen as a mockery. This is also one of the factors that contribute towards the difference in discourse ways between Korean men and women. Culture also plays an important role in determining what women say and when to say it.
The presence of the male superiority notion has been one of the main driving factors towards the different discourse ways between men and women. Men have been seen to be more superior and even their language also assumed to be more superior. This notion is however changing slowly but the way men and women speak especially in Korea is still marked with a lot of difference. The factors that lead to the different discourse ways between Korean men and women are varied as seen in the following sections of this paper.
During the research, an analysis was done on advertisements, movie and dramas and a comparison done on the three metrics. Both genders were covered and different results obtained that was later on used to draw graphs as shown in the following section.
In the study, the metrics used were advertisements, episodes of drama and Korean movies. These were chosen so as to analyze whether there is any difference in discourse ways between Korean men and women. 10 advertisements, 10 Episodes of Drama, and 10 Movies of Korean were used and then the analysis done based on gender and how the two genders reacted when presented with different circumstances.
Areas that were considered when analysing the speech of both genders included the following:
i. Relationship between the languages and the authority that they represent with the users – it was realised that men were more authoritative in the way they issued
ii. How each of the genders show their opinions – women were more objective and
direct when giving their opinions as compared to their male counterparts who were more subjective when giving their opinions.
iii. Types of expressions that were used in the course of their speeches
iv. Their phonology and the way both genders made their conversations
v. Use of horrific expressions
vi. Choice of words in the speeches of members of both genders
The above metrics showed that women tend to respect men and that men’s authorities are obviosly stronger than the ones for women.
In the types of expressions that were being considered included:
i. Coarse expression
ii. Directive expressions
iii. Raising accents
iv. Honorific expressions
v. Occurrence of polite words
The use of the above forms of expressions was however used differently by the two genders. Men and women had a totally different approach when it came to the way that the uttered different words when presented with different situations. However, from the results that were obtained after studying the way in which the two genders used different tonal variations, it could be seen that women were more accommodative as compared to their male counterparts.
Base Thesis: Because Korea society was based on Confucianism, nowadays Confucianism has deep roots in Korea society. Therefore, Korean women tend to respect Korean men, and Korean men’s authorities are stronger than women in Korea societies. So kind of these situations and phenomenon appears in terms of their discourses in Korea media such as movies, drama, or advertisements. Firstly, Korean women show their opinions indirectly whereas Korea men use directive forms. Secondly, Korean women use coarse expressions less than Korean men. Thirdly, Korean women tend to raise accent end of the sentence whereas men tend to do not. Fourthly, Korean women tend to use honorific expressions more than men do. Fifthly, Korean women tend to use polite words than men use. Therefore, these expressions what women usually more use in discourses can be representative to respect for men or show that men’s authorities are stronger than women’s authorities.
Korean Society is mainly based on Confucianism and therefore the Korean women tend to respect their male counterparts. The Korean men’s autorities are also seen to be much stronger than those of women and tis has contributed greatly to the difference that is seen on the way they communicate with each other. These behaviors can also be seen in situations and phenomenon in terms of their discourse like in the movies, drama, or advertisements. From the studies and the analysis, it was found that the Korean women usually show their opinions more directly as compared to their male counterpart who often use directive forms to express their opinions. The Korean women also tend to use more Coarse expressions than their men who do avoid the use of such expressions. When the use of languages and fixation of various expressions by Korean men and women is analysed, it was realized that the Korean women tend to show some form of respect to their male counterparts and that the men’s authorities are much stronger than the female authorities.
When an analysis was conducted on the advertisement, movies and dramas, it was realized that there were more directive expressions in men than in women. Most of the directive expressions were found in movies and dramas. In women more directive expressions were found to be present in movies and only a very small amount of the directive expressions were found in advertisements.
Korean men also led in the number of coarse expressions. Few instances of coarse expressions were also found in women with movies leading and then followed by dramas. Coarse expressions were however not found to be present among Korean women in advertisements. In Korean men, movies led in the number of coarse expressions then dramas and lastly advertisements. This shows that when designing advertisements, most of the companies tried to avoid the use of coarse expressions.
Raising of accent was also used as a metric to analyse the difference in discourse among the Korean men and women. From the study, it was realized that Korean men showed very low number in terms of the occurrence of raising accent and of sentences. Women led in this metric and it was realized that most of the Korean women raised accent end of sentences. In women, movies led then followed by advertisements and then drama. From these results, it can be shown that most of the Koreans are used to the fact that accents are raised at the end of sentences by women (Giles, 2007).
When carrying out research on the occurrence of the honorific expressions between Korean men and women, it was realized that Korean women led in the number of the honorific expressions. In women, drama led then followed by advertisements and finally movies. Men on the other side showed a very low number of honorific expressions with movies leading then advertisements and finally dramas had the lowest number. From these results, it can be shown that Korean women are more accommodative and vigilant. This can be shown on the types of expressions that they use which directly gives an impression of their characters and feelings.
When carrying out an analysis of the occurrence of polite words in the speeches of both Korean men and women, it can be shown that Korean women used more polite words than their male counterparts (Beattie, 2001). This could be shown on the expressions used in movies, dramas and advertisements whereby women used more polite words and the men had very little usage of such words/expressions.
There are various factors that can be considered responsible for the various variations of speeches in men and women. Cultural factors play a very important role in influencing the difference in the way men and women speak. Women and men can be considered to be instituting to different sub-speech groups. The interactional patterns in the same sex and across the two sexes have also provided evidence for the difference that exists between the linguistic behaviour of men and women.
In conclusion, from the above obtained results, it can be shown that women use respectful languages in their conversation as compared to the men. Women are more considerate than men and tend to monitor their language as compared to the men. Therefore we can ascertain that there is a difference discourse ways between Korean men and women (Bernstein, 2002).
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Chambers, J.C. (2002): "Linguistic Correlates of Gender and Sex". English World Wide 13: 173-218.
Coates, Jennifer (ed) (1998): Language and Gender: A Reader. Oxford.
Coates, Jennifer/Cameron, Deborah. (eds.) (2009): Women in Their Speech Communities. London.
Fasold, Ralph (2000): The Sociolinguistics of Language. Cambridge, MA.
Giles, Howard (ed.) (2007): Language, Ethnicity and Intergroup Relations. London.