Article published in:Compiling and analysing the Spoken British National Corpus 2014
Edited by Tony McEnery, Robbie Love and Vaclav Brezina
[International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 22:3] 2017
► pp. 403–428
Totally or slightly different?
A Spoken BNC2014-based investigation of female and male usage of intensifiers
Since the late twentieth century, the usage of intensifiers, such as absolutely, very or slightly, has been investigated in relation to gender. Whereas previous literature has widely agreed that women and men do indeed use intensifiers differently, there has been some disagreement as to which gender uses them more frequently. Taking up this discussion, this study explores authentic data provided in the Spoken BNC2014S by investigating 39 intensifiers. After establishing the ten most frequently used intensifiers by women and men, these are subcategorized and investigated for gender and age effects. The results generally support earlier findings, however, they also illustrate that there is much interindividual variation and variation regarding individual intensifiers and that there are fascinating interactions with other variables such as age.
Keywords: intensifier, amplifier, downtoner, gender and language, sociolinguistics
Published online: 23 November 2017
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CLARIDGE, CLAUDIA, EWA JONSSON & MERJA KYTÖ
Claridge, Claudia, Ewa Jonsson & Merja Kytö
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