So, this is a really hard concept for me to understand, but a long time ago I saw a small piece of reading talking about how young women pioneer the development of language much more than young men. A part of what this text was talking about was the difference in the number of linguistic styles that young women use to communicate vs men. I think it was referring to a combination of a couple different things, like diction and tone and slang and such. But for the life of me, not only can I not find the original text online, but I also can't figure out the term.

The text described it as how there were very little variations of speech amongst men. Basically, most men sounded the same (that's how I'm understanding it as someone who knows nothing about linguistics). But, women had tons of variation when compared to other women's speech patterns. Their diction, their style of speech, etc. From what I can remember, the text talked about how linguistics categorized these styles of speech, and how there were only really two predominant categories that male speech fell under while there were a good half dozen that women commonly used.

Does anybody know what the term that I might be thinking of is? Is there such a term? Are there any studies that you guys know about that sound similar to that illusive text that I read once but can't manage to find again? Please help!! I've been trying for the life of me to think of the term and I can't remember it, nor can I find it online no matter how much I google!!

  • 1
    Are you looking for "registers"?
    – Draconis
    Commented Jun 10 at 23:35
  • Or sociolect perhaps
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jun 11 at 0:52
  • speech patterns of men and women. That's the topic. Here's a paper on that: birmingham.ac.uk/documents/college-artslaw/cels/essays/…
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 11 at 15:17
  • I was recently recommended this reading on the topic of women leading language change: Gal, Susan. "Peasant men can't get wives: Language change and sex roles in a bilingual community." Language in society 7.1 (1978): 1-16.
    – gtroiani
    Commented Jun 13 at 17:46


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