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女性发音普遍比男性标准?男女生的语言习惯还有这么多差别……

Source: 恒星英语学习网    2019-12-11  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

语言是社会的一面镜子。

1975年著名社会语言学家Robin Lakoff引入了 “women’s register” (女性语域)这个概念,她观察到,美国女性为了缓和谈话或者为了减弱表达观点时的侵略性,会出现以下这些特征:

 ❶Tag questions

使用很多反义疑问句

“This election mess is terrible, isn’t it?”

“这届选举乱套了,是吧?”

 

❷ Rising intonation on declaratives

陈述句也用升调结尾

A: “When will dinner be ready?”

“晚饭什么时候好啊?”

B:“Six o’clock.”↑

“六点。”↑

 

❸ The use of various kinds of hedges.

用插入成分避免过分直接的表达

“That’s kinda sad.” Vs. “That’s sad.”

“是有点可怜”Vs.“可怜”

“It’s probably dinner time.” Vs. “It’s dinner time.”

“或许该吃饭了吧”Vs.“该吃饭了”

“I don’t really want it.” Vs. “I don’t want it.”

“我不太想这么做”Vs.“我不想这么做”

“I wondered if I could have a word with you.” Vs. “Can I have a word with you?”

“我在想是否可以借一步说话”Vs.“我能跟你聊聊吗”

“The answer could be that the trees have some sort of disease.” Vs. “The answer is that...”

“答案可能是这些树得了某种病”Vs.“答案是……”

 ❹ Boosters or amplifiers.

加重语气,放大情感

“I am so glad you are here.”

“你在这儿,我太高兴了。”

 

❺ Indirection.

迂回表述

Saying “Well, I’ve got a dentist appointment then” in order to convey a reluctance to meet at some proposed time and perhaps to request that the other person propose an alternative time.

比如,为了表达不情愿与某人在约定时间见面,或者希望对方另找一个时间,会说 “呃……那个点我约了去见牙医。”

 

❻Diminutives

使用小词或小词缀

A diminutive form of a word implies that something is small, cute, loved, or special. E.g. panties, piglet, kitchenette, etc.

人们使用小词或小词缀来表示该事物体积很小、很可爱,或者很特别。例如panties(女士短衬裤)、piglet(小猪猪、猪崽儿)、kitchenette(小厨房)等。

 ❼ Euphemism

使用委婉语

Avoiding profanities by using expressions like piffle, or heck; using circumlocutions like go to the bathroom to avoid “vulgar” or tabooed expressions such as pee or piss.

为避免脏话,会说piffle(废话、蠢话) 或者heck(见鬼)。为了避免“粗俗”或者忌讳的表达,如pee(撒尿) 或者piss(尿尿),会用委婉的表达,如“去卫生间”。

不过,许多跟进研究发现,改变说话方式——说话时去掉上面这些展示迂回和礼貌的语言特征并不会帮助到女性争取到assertiveness(说话自信)和the sense of power(权力感)。

上世纪60到80年代,拉博夫等人也对这个领域进行了研究,他们发现:

In Western, industrial societies, women tend to produce speech closer to the standard in pronunciation than that of men. For instance, women produce more ‘ing’ in words like ‘running’, but men produce more ‘in’, resulting in ‘runnin’.

在西方工业社会,女性的发音会比男性更靠近社会标准语的要求。比方说,像是“running”这样的词,女性多以‘ing’来结尾(running),而很多男性会发成“in” (runnin)。

当然,这些研究最长距今已经过去了50多年,今时今日的状况与当年的研究结果或许已经出现了很大的出入。

 男性语言的特征

视线转过来,男性的语言有什么显著特征呢?

英国社会语言学家Jennifer Coates在她的专著Men Talk–Stories in the Making of Masculinities中谈到了自己对男性使用语言表达情感情绪的观察。

The absence of talk about feelings is perhaps the most notable consequence of “the constraining hand of hegemonic masculinity” in the conversations I’ve collected. The imperative to avoid vulnerability means that men have to put a lot of effort into keeping up a front (or wearing a mask).

在我收集的对话中,不谈论情感或情绪或许是“霸权男性气概掣肘”最显著的后果。必须隐藏脆弱意味着男人们需要花很多精力树立一个门面形象(或者说戴上一个面具)。

看到这儿,脑海里应该很容易浮现出不善言谈的直男老爸形象。

 Men avoid the emotional when they talk with each other. In groups of more than two speakers, men are anxious not to be seen to be displaying characteristics which could be labeled “feminine” and therefore “gay”’.

男人与男人聊天时,通常会避免谈及情绪。在谈话者超过两人的群组中,男性特别在乎不要被人看到自己展示出可能会被打上“女性化”标签,进而被人觉得“像同性恋”的特质。

The significance of talk involving just two speakers is confirmed by a contemporary survey of boys in London schools. Boys are willing to open up to a sympathetic male interviewer.

最近一项针对伦敦校园男生的调查显示,仅包括两个谈话者的对话十分重要。男孩们很愿意对友好的男性访谈者袒露心扉。

As the researchers say: “Boys struggle to find a forum in which they can try out masculine identities which can be differentiated from the ‘hegemonic’ codes of macho masculinity.” Both boys and men seem more likely to do this in the presence of just one close friend (or a single trusted adult).

研究者称:“男生们努力寻找一种公共话语空间,让他们可以试着表达与那种大男子气的‘霸权’男性气概不相同的男性身份认同。”男孩与成年男性貌似都更容易在只有一个亲密朋友或者自己信任的成人在场的情况下吐露心声。

And men have historically preferred to have emotional talk with women. A recent survey of mobile phone use claims that men now gossip more than women, but reveals that women’s “gossip partners” tend to be women friends and family, while men’s “gossip partners” tend to be women partners, female friends and work colleagues.

自古以来,男性都更愿意与女性交流情绪。最近一项对手机使用情况的调查显示,男性比女性更喜欢八卦;不过,调查显示,女性的“八卦对象”往往是同为女性的朋友和家人,而男性的“八卦对象”往往是女性伴侣、女性朋友和工作同事。

 However, as women become impatient with doing this emotional work, men will need to develop more “connectedness” with other men. But men have a history of friendships which stress sociability rather than intimacy, which could be described as “side-by-side” rather than “face-to-face”.

不过,女性会对这种“知心姐姐”似的情感工作变得不耐烦,因此,男性则需要与其他男性建立更多的“联结感”。但是呢,男人间的友谊自古以来都是强调交际而非亲密。有一个比喻可以很形象地描述这种兄弟情:这种友谊是“肩并肩的”,而不是“面对面的”。

So although it is acknowledged that men and boys have a lot of fun together, at the same time there is a sense “of something missing emotionally”. Those involved in the research on boys in London schools are hopeful that things can be changed: “By encouraging boys to talk about themselves and their relationships in single-sex groups, close and supportive relations with other boys can be forged.”

所以呢,即便大家都承认男人间和男孩间都可以玩得很来,但同时,他们的关系总有一种“情绪情感上的缺失感”。伦敦校园男孩研究中的研究员们表示情况可以有所改善:“鼓励男孩儿多谈论自己的情绪,鼓励他们多表达自己在男性群体中所经历的关系,这样一来,亲密且能够互相扶持的男孩间关系也能够建立起来。”

Gender is not something we are born with, and not something we have, but something we do (West and Zimmerman 1987) – something we perform (Butler 1990).

社会性别并不是与生俱来的,也并不是你所拥有的一种东西,而是你的所作所为,是你的执行与呈现。

社会性别的内涵一直在变迁,它们与语言之间的关系也同样随时间改变。

我们很难预料,现在某个性别的言语特征以后会不会成为主流,就像200年前喜欢卷舌的英国人应该也没想到,不卷舌的RP(Received Pronunciation,标准发音)成了不列颠群岛的标准音。

 

Notes

intonation /ˌɪntəˈneɪʃn/ n语调

declarative /dɪˈklærətɪv/ adj陈述的;陈述句

hegemonic / ˌhedʒɪˈmɒnɪk / adj支配的;霸权的

macho / ˈmɑːtʃoʊ / adj大男子气的

masculinity/,mæskjʊ'lɪnɪtɪ/ n男性气概

forge / fɔːrdʒ / v锻造


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