Gift Ngozi Okata (PhD), Charles Maduabuchi Ekeh


The notion that men use hedges to dominate, while women use hedges to confirm their subordination is a cankerworm that is negatively impacting individual user’s language domain. This is because the use of hedges among interlocutors in a discursive event is a marker of reverence, humility, respect and honesty. Using a questionnaire administered to male and female participants of five Bible Banquet program and descriptive analysis based on Janet Holmes, (1992) Sociology of Language which focuses on the motivated account of the way language is used in a community, and of the choices people make when they use language, as research frame work, the study surveyed the convention attribute and frequency of the use of hedges among male and female contributors in a radio program. Findings showed frequency of hedges use as; male participants; 47%, 44%, 42%, 46% and 43% respectively, while the female participants used 53%, 56%, 58%, 54 and 57respectively in 5 sessions chosen for analysis. Conclusion suggests that female participants employed the use of hedges more than men, this supports the views of Harmant (1976) which claimed that females use more qualifiers and intensifiers than men, while, men used more absolutes. Therefore hedges are paradigmatic marker of reverence, honesty and integrity among interlocutors in a discourse event.


Hedges, men language, women language, certainty, convention

Full Text:



Bruce Fraser (2010). Pragmatic Competence: The Case of Hedging. New Approaches to Hedging Edited by Gunther Kaltenbo¨ck, WiltrudMihatsch and Stefan Schneider, 2010 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Pp 15 – 34.

Cambridge Dictionary: dictionary.cambridge.org>grammar/british-gran

He Ziran, (2002). Introduction to Pragmatics.ChangSha Hunan Education Publishing House, Hunan.

Hymes, D. H. (1970). On communicative competence. In Brumfit, C. J. & Johnson, K. (Eds.). The Communicative Approach of Language Teaching. Oxford: OUP.

Lakoff, G. (1972). ‘‘Hedges: A study in meaning criteria and the logic of fuzzy concepts’’, Papers from the Eighth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, 183–228. Reprinted in Journal of Philosophical Logic, 1973, 2: 4, 458–508, and in D. Hockney et al. (eds.). Contemporary research in philosophical logic and linguistic semantics.Dodrecht: Fortis, 221–271.

Okata,Gift&Owolabi Joshua (2017). Brain word bank and Frequency of Hedges as word choice among English Language Speaking Staff of Babcock University. Unpublished.

Rod Ellis, R. (1999). Understanding second language acquisition. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

Tang, Jingwei (2013). Pragmatic Functions of Hedges and Politeness Principles. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature. [S.l.], v. 2, n. 4, p. 155-160.

Teppo,Varttala (2001). Hedging in Scientifically Oriented Discourse. Exploring Variations according to Discipline and Intended Audience. English Philolopgy, University of Tempere.

Thomas, J. (1983). Cross-cultural pragmatic failure. Applied Linguistics, 4, 20-39.

Weinreich, U. (1966). On the semantic structure of English, in J. H. Greenberg (ed.), Universals of language. 2nd Edition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 142–217.

Westin Dawn, (2017). What are the differences between the male and female language? https;//datingtips.match.com/differences between-male-female language-7979389html

YongqingTeng (2015). An Analysis of Pragmatic Functions of Hedging in American Presidential Inaugural Addresses. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 5(8), pp. 1688-1694.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Gift Ngozi Okata (PhD), Charles Maduabuchi Ekeh







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.