HEDGES AMONG SEXES: AN ANALYSIS OF FREQUENCY OF USE AMONG MALE AND FEMALE INTERLOCUTORS IN A DISCOURSE EVENT

Gift Ngozi Okata (PhD), Charles Maduabuchi Ekeh

Abstract


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.


Keywords


Hedges, men language, women language, certainty, convention

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