分类号： 密 级：
单位代码：10427 学 号：2007010208
硕 士 学 位 论 文
A Contrastive Study of Linguistic Sexism in English and Chinese 英汉语言性别歧视对比研究
研究生姓名 学科、专业 申请学位级别 学位授予单位
外国语言学及应用语言学 硕 士
2010 年 5 月
济 南 大 学 10427
2010 年 5 月 30 日
A Contrastive Study of Linguistic Sexism in English and Chinese
By Li Hui Under the Supervision of Prof. Sun Yanmei
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Foreign Languages In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts
University of Jinan Jinan, Shandong, P. R. China May 30, 2010
原 创 性 声 明
本人郑重声明：所呈交的学位论文，是本人在导师的指导下，独立 进行研究所取得的成果。除文中已经注明引用的内容外，本论文不包含 任何其他个人或集体已经发表或撰写过的科研成果。对本文的研究作出 重要贡献的个人和集体，均已在文中以明确方式标明。本人完全意识到 本声明的法律责任由本人承担。
本人完全了解济南大学有关保留、使用学位论文的规定，同意学 校保留或向国家有关部门或机构送交论文的复印件和电子版，允许论 文被查阅和借鉴；本人授权济南大学可以将学位论文的全部或部分内 容编入有关数据库进行检索，可以采用影印、缩印或其他复制手段保 存论文和汇编本学位论文。
Abstract in English ............................................................................................................... i Abstract in Chinese ............................................................................................................iii List of Tables ........................................................................................................................ v Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Introduction .................................................................................................. 1 Literature Review ......................................................................................... 5 Theoretical Framework and Theories Concerned .................................... 9
3.1 Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis ........................................................................................... 9 3.2 Feminists’ Theories................................................................................................. 10 3.3 Semantic Componential Analysis........................................................................... 11 3.4 Prototype Theory .................................................................................................... 11 Chapter 4 Contrastive Analyses of Linguistic Sexism in English and Chinese ...... 15
4.1 Representations of Linguistic Sexism in English ................................................... 15 4.1.1 Lexical Level ................................................................................................ 15 184.108.40.206 Suffixes............................................................................................... 15 220.127.116.11 Compounds......................................................................................... 16 4.1.2 Syntactic Level ............................................................................................. 17 18.104.22.168 Word Order ......................................................................................... 17 22.214.171.124 Generic Masculine Terms ................................................................... 17 4.1.3 Semantic Level ............................................................................................. 19 126.96.36.199 Semantic Components ........................................................................ 19 188.8.131.52 Connotative Meanings........................................................................ 20 184.108.40.206 Semantic Collocation.......................................................................... 21 220.127.116.11 Semantic Changes .............................................................................. 22 4.1.4 Discourse Level ............................................................................................ 24 18.104.22.168 Formal Discourse................................................................................ 24 22.214.171.124 Less Formal Discourse ....................................................................... 27 126.96.36.199 Informal Discourse ............................................................................. 29 4.2 Representations of Linguistic Sexism in Chinese .................................................. 32 4.2.1 Lexical Level ................................................................................................ 33
188.8.131.52 Characters........................................................................................... 33 184.108.40.206 Compounds......................................................................................... 35 4.2.2 Syntactic Level............................................................................................. 35 220.127.116.11 Word Order......................................................................................... 35 18.104.22.168 Generic Masculine Terms................................................................... 36 4.2.3 Semantic Level............................................................................................. 36 22.214.171.124 Connotative Meanings........................................................................ 36 126.96.36.199 Semantic Changes .............................................................................. 37 4.2.4 Discourse Level............................................................................................ 37 188.8.131.52 Formal Discourse ............................................................................... 37 184.108.40.206 Less Formal Discourse ....................................................................... 41 220.127.116.11 Informal Discourse............................................................................. 44 4.3 Similarities and Differences of the Representations in English and Chinese ........ 47 4.3.1 Similarities ................................................................................................... 47 18.104.22.168 Sexually Stigmatized Vocabulary for Women.................................... 47 22.214.171.124 Marked Feminine Professional Terms................................................ 48 126.96.36.199 Male-female Word Order ................................................................... 48 188.8.131.52 Semantic Derogation of Women ........................................................ 48 184.108.40.206 Loss of Women’s Surnames ............................................................... 49 220.127.116.11 Submissive Female in Public Media .................................................. 49 4.3.2 Differences ................................................................................................... 49 18.104.22.168 English Suffixes vs. Chinese Characters............................................ 49 22.214.171.124 Non-corresponding Items Between English and Chinese .................. 50 4.4 Causes of Linguistic Sexism in English and Chinese ............................................ 50 4.4.1 Cultural Background .................................................................................... 51 126.96.36.199 Man-dominated Ideology and Religion.............................................. 51 188.8.131.52 Demonized Images of Women ........................................................... 53 4.4.2 Social Division of Labor .............................................................................. 54 4.4.3 Psychological Localization .......................................................................... 55 Chapter 5 Development of Linguistic Sexism in English and Chinese.................... 57
5.1 Ameliorations of Linguistic Sexism in the Past ..................................................... 57 5.1.1 Dictionaries .................................................................................................. 57
5.1.2 Magazines..................................................................................................... 59 5.1.3 Daily-using Language .................................................................................. 60 5.2 Forecast of Linguistic Sexism in English and Chinese .......................................... 61 Chapter 6 Conclusion ................................................................................................... 63
Bibliography ....................................................................................................................... 65 Acknowledgments .............................................................................................................. 71 Publications ........................................................................................................................ 73
Sexism is a universal phenomenon in society, which exists in different regimes and countries in varying degrees. As a pervasive phenomenon in society, it is reflected in the mirror of language, which is referred to as linguistic sexism. Although it represents as a linguistic phenomenon, it is actually caused by many kinds of ideological dross and outmoded conventions and customs settled in the culture for a long time, which reflects the discrimination against women in the society. In a broad sense, linguistic sexism refers to gender discrimination against both men and women. This thesis only probes into the study of linguistic sexism against women. This phenomenon, which can be found in both English and Chinese, refers to the expressive ways in language that unnecessarily differentiate between women and men or exclude, trivialize, or diminish women. According to the views of Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, language is not only the product of society, but also affects people’s thoughts and spirit constructions in reverse. People’s observations, perceptions and explanations of the world are inevitably influenced by language. Before the middle of the 20th century, people’s awareness of linguistic sexism remained perceptual and vague. In the west, the feminist movement in 1960s deepened people’s cognition of gender difference in language and inspired them to study on linguistic sexism. At the beginning, studies of the differences mainly concentrated on words and phonemes used by males and females, later expanded to grammatical elements. In China, linguists did not begin to the study on linguistic sexism until 1980s. Studies in China are based on and originated from the study of asymmetry in language, which occupied a great proportion. Most of the studies start from the expressive ways of language, and indicate that words, phrases and expressions used by males are the principals and those used by females are the adjunctive variables. Globally speaking, studies in the relationship between language and gender entered into a systematical period and the research on linguistic sexism has progressed a lot. With the penetration of the research, people have realized the importance of eliminating linguistic sexism. Modern sociolinguists believe that linguistic sexism is a complicated
social phenomenon, and it is also about language performance and in different discourse. The thesis adopts Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis and feminists’ theories as its theoretical framework and analyses the representations of linguistic sexism in English and Chinese respectively at the following linguistic levels: lexical level, syntactic level, semantic level and discourse level. Linguists mostly studied it at one level unilaterally; however, it is an extensive linguistic phenomenon, which is also concerned with language performance under different discourse. The thesis expands the research range to discourse level, puts the discourse into three kinds: formal discourse, less formal discourse, and informal discourse according to the degrees of formality, and presents the phenomenon of linguistic sexism under each discourse. Whereafter, the thesis conducts a systematic comparison of the representations of linguistic sexism in English and Chinese. Due to the language universality, there exist some similarities in their representations. Meanwhile, they belong to different classifications and language families and each of them has its own diversity. With the help of Prototype Theory, this thesis aims at explaining the causes of linguistic sexism from the aspects of cultural background, social division of labor and psychological localization. Finally, the thesis analyses the developing characteristics and forecasts the developing trends of linguistic sexism in English and Chinese, evidenced by their traces of development under the three kind of discourse, with one representative for each discourse: dictionaries for the formal discourse, magazines for the less formal discourse, and daily-using language for the informal discourse. The changing process of language is quite slow, which cannot be finished in one day or one night. As long as people have a full awareness of the representations of linguistic sexism, change the social ideology, and avoid using every word, phrase and expression that has formed the sexist usage of language, language can be purified and the harmony of language and society can be achieved.
Key words: linguistic sexism; English; Chinese
性别歧视是普遍存在的一种社会现象， 在不同的社会制度和国家中都不同程度地 存在着。而这一社会现象也通过语言这面镜子折射出来，形成了语言性别歧视性。虽 然表现为一种语言现象， 它实际上是诸种思想糟粕与陈规陋习在文化中长期积淀的结 果，折射出社会对女性的种种歧视。狭义的性别歧视指对女性的歧视，广义的则包含 对男性的歧视。本文仅对狭义的语言性别歧视现象展开研究。这种现象在英语和汉语 中都颇为常见，是指不必要地区别女性和男性或排除、轻视、贬低女性的语言表达方 式。 按照 Sapir-Whorf 假说的观点，语言不仅仅是社会的产物，它还能反过来影响人 们的思维与精神构建。人们对周围世界的观察、认识和解释，必然受到语言的影响。 在二十世纪五十年代之前， 人们还没有过多的认识和接触语言性别歧视。 在西方国家， 语言学家对语言性别差异的认识起源于上世纪六十年代的女权主义运动。 但初期的研 究主要集中在男女两性所用词和音位的考察上，后来延伸到语法特征。我国的学者八 十年代之后才逐步接触和研究汉语中的性别歧视。 国内研究的开端和基础体现在语言 的不对称现象上，在整个研究中占有很大的比例。这些研究从性别歧视的语言表现形 式入手，指出男性用语是主体，而女性用语则是附属的变体。在全世界范围看来，专 家学者自七十年代之后开始系统地研究语言与性别关系， 并且在语言性别歧视方面也 获得了巨大的进步。在现代社会语言学家看来，语言性别歧视是一个极为复杂的社会 现象，更牵扯到语言运用的问题，受到不同条件下语境的制约。 本文以 Sapir-Whorf 假说和女性主义理论为理论框架，从词汇层、句法层、语义 层、语篇层等各语言学层面深入分析性别歧视现象在英语和汉语中的体现。以前的语 言学家多倾向于片面、孤立地研究其在语言某一层面的体现，但性别歧视是一个极为 广泛的语言现象，同时也充分地体现在语言的运用中，存在于不同的语篇中。本文探 索的角度扩展至语篇范畴，按照正式程度把语篇划分为正式，次正式，非正式三种， 再分别对每种语篇下的语言性别歧视进行分析。由于语言具有普遍性，性别歧视现象 在两种语言中的体现有一些相似之处；但是，英语和汉语属于不同类型又分属不同语 族，因此两者的差异又造成了性别歧视体现的不同。本文在分析两者异同之后，又结 合原型理论， 从文化背景、 社会分工及心理定位等方面阐释英汉语言性别歧视的成因。
最后，本文以三种语篇中具有代表性的字典、杂志、日常用语中性别歧视现象发展的 历时研究为依据，分析其在英汉语言中的发展特征，并预测英汉语言中的性别歧视发 展趋势。 语言的变化是一个缓慢的过程，并不是一朝一夕就能够完成的。人们只有深刻地 认识性别歧视在语言中的具体体现，主动改变社会意识形态，从根源上避免使用每个 构成性别歧视的字、词、句，净化语言表达方式，才能最终达到促进语言和谐和社会 和谐的目的。
List of Tables
Table 1 Common sex prototypes---------------------------------------------------------------13 Table 2 Suffixes for marked feminine nouns-------------------------------------------------16 Table 3 Seven categories of the characters with radical “女”------------------------------34 Table 4 A Students’ name list with “*” to mark the female--------------------------------41
Language is used to understand and describe the world. It is the vehicle, through which human beings express their ideas, thoughts and attitudes, and through which people communicate with each other. Most human knowledge and culture that we take it for granted are learned and transmitted through language from one generation to another. While children learn their native language, they also learn their native customs, habits and behavioral patterns. It is just like a mirror, loyally reflecting not only a nation’s history and culture, but also its beliefs and biases. All the phenomena in the society can be reflected in language. Human society in general is male dominant, and the persuasive ideology sees males to be superior to females. Men and women are biologically different, and the difference in gender determines their social roles. Man’s dominant, superior social status and woman’s subordinate, inferior social status have influenced the development of language and are revealed in language. Sexism is “a system of beliefs and practices which affirm the control of men over women, which manifested in all forms of behavior and in all human institutions” (Lakoff, 1975). Sexism is any discrimination against women or men because of their sex, and made on irrelevant grounds. In addition, we can find some definitions of sexism in the dictionaries. According to New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998), sexism refers to “prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, especially against women, on the basis of sex”. In Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1983), sexism means: 1) prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially, discrimination against women; 2) behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster prototypes of social roles based on sex. These definitions show that the female is largely the sex that suffers sexism in the society. As a pervasive phenomenon in society, it is reflected and perpetuated in language about the devalued groups. Pauwels (1998) remarks that the phenomenon—the portrayal of men as the norm and women as the appendage or as the exception in language—is often referred to as linguistic sexism or androcentrism. Linguistic sexism refers to kinds of prejudices or attitudes of one sex toward another
sex in linguistic area and the ways in which devalues members of one sex, almost invariably women. It implies the language that favors one sex over another, that belittle one sex, that makes one sex invisible and that masks sexual discrimination (Yang Yonglin, 2004). Miller and Swift (1977) in their essay offer several examples of sexism in language and the ways in which the English language reflects a sexist culture. According to them, sexist language is any language that expresses stereotyped attitudes and expectations or that assumes the inherent superiority of one sex over the other. In this sense, both English and Chinese are sexist languages. However, there is still argument on whether English and Chinese is sexist or not, the traces of linguistic sexism can be definitely found in both of them. In English, a person of unknown sex is referred to as “he” or “him” rather than “she” or “her”. A person who holds a meeting is the “chairman”, even if she is a woman. The human being can be referred to as “man” rather than “woman”. Masculine words always occur first when listed with feminine words, e.g., “father and mother”. Masculine words more often bear positive connotations, conveying power, prestige and leadership. In contrast, feminine words more often connote negative notions of weakness, inferiority and immaturity. Such cases can also be found in Chinese. In the federal society, women were often looked down upon and their wills and ideas could be hardly received with any respect. The old sayings, such as “唯女子与小人难养也”, “女子无才便是德”, “妇人之 见”, all reflect the traditional ideology that women are inferior to men. The prejudice and discrimination against women can still be found in modern Chinese. “好男不跟女斗” implies that women are inferior to men. “嫁出去的闺女, 泼出去的水” suggests that women are useless. “红颜祸水” shows that women are often regarded as the sources of disasters. Besides, the placing of women in second rank in conjoined phrases can be found everywhere in Chinese, such as “男婚女嫁”, “夫唱妇随”, “夫贵妻荣”, “男才女貌”. Language itself is not sexist, but the society is. Language reflects social reality in which sex inequality exists at a certain degree. People transfer the social sexism to language, and at the same time, linguistic sexism may reinforce the biased views. This thesis only probes into the study of linguistic sexism against women.
The thesis is composed of seven chapters. Chapter One is a brief introduction of the whole thesis. Chapter Two reviews the previous researches and significant works on linguistic sexism. Chapter Three elaborates some relevant terms, concepts and theories, which functions as the theoretical preliminaries of the thesis. Chapter Four analyses the manifestations of linguistic sexism in English and Chinese in a systematic way, makes a comparison between the similarities and differences of its representations in the two languages, including a large number of concrete and illustrative examples, and explores the causes of linguistic sexism from cultural, social and psychological perspectives. Chapter Five describes the ameliorations of English and Chinese in the past few decades and generally forecasts the trends of linguistic sexism in English and Chinese. Chapter Six draws a brief conclusion of the thesis.
In western countries, the study on language and gender has become a popular topic for long within sociolinguistic area. Gender difference in language exists because most societies differentiate between men and women in various marked ways. At the beginning, observations of the differences are involved in words and phonemes, and later expand to grammatical features. Bloomfield (1933), in his Language, enumerate the different words used by men and women of Yana Indians in the north of California in America, e.g., “’anua” (means fire) for men and “’auh” for women, “bana” (means deer) for men and “ba‘” for women. Trudgill (1983a) finds that in Darkhat, a Mongolic dialect, the two back rounded vowels [u] and [o] used by men equal the two central vowels [tt] and [?] used by women, and two central vowels [u] and [o] equal front vowels [y] and [ф]. He also finds the differences between masculine and feminine morphology in many other languages. For example, in English, female nouns can be formed through morphological changes (inflections or derivations) based on male nouns and they are asymmetrical. This morphological asymmetry often makes women invisible, treats them as secondary or has a trivializing effect on the linguistic portrayal of women. The view that women’s status is not only dependent on that of men but also secondary to it is linked to the derivative nature of many female nouns from male ones. It is the study of asymmetry between male and female that found the base of linguistic sexism. However, people did not actually show concern for linguistic sexism until the end of the 1960s. With more and more women getting involved in the feminist movement, the gender differences in language including linguistic sexism have begun to be questioned and challenged. Then various researches have been conducted, and feminist theories have been formulated. Lakoff is the most influential one, who has had direct impact on the systematic study of linguistic sexism. She gives linguistically specific accounts, which change the study into a reexamination of the differences of language between men and women. Lakoff points out in her book: “We will find, I think, that women experience linguistic discrimination in two ways: in the way they are taught to use language and in the
general way language use treats them” (1975). The influence of Lakoff’s book can never be ignored because it has evoked many linguists’ interest in the study on language and gender. Lakoff (1975) have said, “Women’s liberation movement pushes the research into prominence, and creates atmosphere for its acceptance and legitimization”. Many linguists have pointed out that English assumes certain sex prototypes for men and women, and it puts women in a lower social position. Early works on linguistic sexism dealt with the means through which linguistic sexism exists, e.g., Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929). After them, Lakoff’s Language and Women’s Place (1973), Throne, Kramarae and Henley’s Language, Gender and Society (1983) and Bolinger’s two books Aspects of Language (1968), and Language: the Loaded Weapon (1980). After 1980s, many linguists begun to explore the research on gender difference in language and to show a considerable amount of concern for linguistic sexism. In this period, the research of gender differences in language can be considered as systematic. Most of the studies concentrate on the following aspects of language: 1) The use of masculine pronoun and noun as generic terms (Mackay and Fulkerson, 1979; Mackay, 1980; Johnson & Mainhof, 1997); 2) Women’s invisibility (Schulz, 1975; Stanley, 1977); 3) The habitual listing of the masculine first (Cameron, 1985; Coates, 1993); 4) Semantic derogation of women (Lakoff, 1973; Schulz, 1975; Pauwels, 1998); 5) Addressing title “Mrs.” (Lakoff, 1973; Penelope, 1990; McConnell, 1996; Pauwels, 1998). With their efforts, more and more linguists have begun to be involved in the study of linguistic sexism and it has become an independent research issue in the area of sociolinguistics. However, most of the linguists unilaterally study the manifestations of the phenomenon at any one linguistic level, and their works are scattered and not systematic. Since early twentieth century, many linguists and feminists adopt the methods of contrastive linguistics to analyse linguistic sexism, for example, in Chambers’ (1990) work on linguistic sexism in German and English. Researchers working on the semantic derogation of female terms often employ methods found in historical linguistics to trace the changes in meaning. Furthermore, contributions to this topic have expanded from linguistics and sociology to other fields such as philosophy, anthropology, psychology and
theology. In China, the research of language and gender is limited in data and carried out slowly. People did not have any idea about linguistic sexism until the New Culture Movement in 1914. The Chinese character “她” (she) was then invented to give woman an independent identity in language (Xiong Wenhua, 1997). Nevertheless, until the last decades, more and more linguists began to pay attention to the research on linguistic sexism. Shi Yuhui (1984) is one of the trailblazers in the study of language and gender in Chinese. He gives a comprehensive analysis of the various forms of gender differences in Chinese in his book, A Sociolinguistic Study of Gender Differences in the Chinese Language. Moreover, he introduces nine dimensions of language and nonverbal communication, as follows: 1) the logographic writing system of Chinese; 2) lexical structures; 3) convention of naming; 4) deprecating terms for women in proverbs and classics; 5) word choice; 6) syntactic structure and language style; 7) phonology; 8) conversational topics and patterns; 9) nonverbal behavior. He almost finds the clues of gender differences in every dimension. In the first three dimensions, he describes the reflections about sexes in Chinese, and in the rest dimensions, he discusses the different ways in which men and women use language, both verbal and nonverbal. During this process, he also finds what have been found earlier in many Indo-European languages—the linguistic sexism. He points out that the logographic writing system, the unique feature of Chinese, is a significant part of linguistic encoding of sexist bias in the Chinese language. At the end of the article, Shi concludes that linguistic sexism in Chinese ties closely with the patriarchal bias in the Chinese culture, and it will continue to exist until women gain an equal footing with men in the society. Although not sufficiently prepared in theory, the early works made a valuable attempt to open up a promising field in the study of language and gender. Then the following linguists achieved more. The famous linguist Zhu Wanjin (1992) in her book Sociolinguistics: An Introduction introduces the researches in western countries on language and gender, in which linguistic sexism occupies an independent chapter. What is worth mentioning is that she systematically describes Mackay and Fulkson’s three experiments in 1978, 1980 and 1983, which demonstrate the usage of generic “he”.
Following her book, many studies concerning linguistic sexism have been published in China. Most of those studies are introductory and try to summarize the findings of English-speaking countries. Farris (1988) adopts Chinese as research sources and does more researches in Taiwan. She tries to find that how the meanings of gender are linguistically encoded in Chinese, and how these meanings are learned as part of the sex role in the socialization process. Sun Rujian (1995), Wang Dechun (1997) and Yang Yonglin (2004) approach the topic from sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic perspectives. They explore linguistic sexism in Chinese characters and vocabulary and briefly explain the causes of the occurrence of linguistic sexism. Chang Jingyu (1995) and Yang Defeng (1999) analyse it on the level of lexicology. Besides, Geng Dianlei (1999) and Pan Jian (2001) have conducted comparative studies of linguistic sexism between Chinese and English at several linguistic levels. However, such studies are still rare and not comprehensive, among which a few are involved in the study of its practical use under different discourse. In view of what is mentioned above, this thesis adopts theories from linguistics, feminism and psychology, aims to make a contrastive study of the representations of linguistic sexism in English and Chinese from a comprehensive perspective, and attempts to help people to develop awareness of linguistic sexism in different cultures.
Theoretical Framework and Theories Concerned
This chapter elucidates the theoretical framework of the thesis and elaborates some major theories concerned in it. The thesis is based on the views of Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis and some principal feminists’ theories, and it represents the linguistic sexism with the help of Semantic Componential Analysis and uses the theory of prototype to reveal the causes of linguistic sexism. This chapter focuses on elaborating the four theories.
3.1 Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, named after the American linguist Edward Sapir and his student Benjamin Lee Whorf (1956). What this hypothesis suggests is like this: our language helps mould our way of thinking and, consequently, different languages may probably express our unique ways to understand the world. Following this argument, two important points could be captured in this theory. On one hand, language may determine our thinking patterns; on the other hand, similarity between languages is relative, the greater their structural differentiation is, the more diverse their conceptualization of the world will be. For this reason, this hypothesis has alternatively been referred to as linguistic determinism and linguistic relativity. One thing we would like to point out here is that nowadays few people would possibly tend to accept the original form of this theory completely. Consequently, two versions of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis have been developed, a strong version and a weak version. The strong version of the theory refers to the claim the original hypothesis suggests, emphasizing the decisive role of language role as the shaper of our thinking patterns. The weak version of this hypothesis, however, is a modified type of its original theory, suggesting that there is a correlation between language, culture, and thought, but the cross-cultural differences thus produced in our ways of thinking are relative, rather than categorical. More importantly, it is argued that the gender differences in language are brought about by nothing less than women’s place in society. The underlying point of this argument for reducing and eliminating linguistic sexism is rather meaningful. On one hand, we need
to try to raise people’s awareness about sexist assumptions in language and change their sexist attitudes. One the other hand, we should try to change the society to give women real equality. Because, as Lakoff (1973) correctly suggests, it is not language itself but women’s place in society that makes people linguistically behave in that way.
3.2 Feminists’ Theories
Feminists engaged in linguistic sexism have been greatly influenced by the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. A feminist theory of language deals with: 1) how language is used to keep women in their place; 2) how language indexes sex roles; 3) how language use establishes women’s identity as subjugated beings or second class citizens; and 4) how to find ways to equip women with the tools of language that will serve to empower them rather than keep them down. Recent feminist theories explored the possibility of a kind of writing that would break sharply with language patterns deeply imbued with patriarchal assumptions, practices, and reconstruct women’s understanding of the world, women’s beliefs and actions and the language in which they are expressed, at the very deepest level. They hold that gender differences inherent in language affect the way people perceive sex roles. For instance, “he” and terms like “salesman” create a strong expectation in the mind of the listeners that the person is a man. Spender (1980), an early feminist, explains her argument as that, women are discriminated and ignored in a man-dominate society in which men invent and control the language. Language loyally reflects the gender bias in the society. In her words, a patriarchal society is “man-made” and women are excluded from a language in such a society. She explains more concretely that women are discriminated in language through linguistic asymmetry and the generic usage of masculine terms, which render women invisible and therefore powerless. She also argues that women are always put into negative semantic spaces while men necessarily occupy the positive ones in the male-dominated world. Spender states that women cannot be liberated from the “man-made” language and society only depending upon changing the language practice. Many modes make male dominance reasonable and even natural. The patriarchal ideology must be changed if people want to construct a view of the world in which both sexes are valued equal. When people change their thoughts, then begin to use language according to the rule that the
sexes are equal, and they will construct a very different reality. The claim for male superiority will no longer seem reasonable and the male monopoly in power will be seen as problematic.
3.3 Semantic Componential Analysis
Structural Semantic Componential Analysis, based on the phonological methods of the Prague School, describes sounds by determining the absence and presence of features. Katz and Fodor then advanced componential Analysis, in 1963. It was first used to refer to the kinship relations, later developed into a way of representing the meaning of a lexeme by breaking down the lexeme into different elements or components. Words can be analysed and described in terms of their semantic components, which usually come in pairs called semantic oppositions, for example, “up” and “down”. They are related in that they both describe vertical directions, one in one direction (call it “plus”) and the other in the other (call it “minus”). There are several variations on these pairs, depending on how they are related to each other and how they can be used with other words. To form a system of categories for English lexeme, Leech (1981) uses “plus male” and “minus male” to distinguish male from female. A plus sign “+” shows that the lexeme contains a given characteristic while a minus sign “-” implies that the lexeme contains the reverse characteristic. Leech has devised a number of ways to represent these components. For example: (1) Man= [+human, +adult, +male] (2) Woman= [+human, +adult, -male] (3) Boy= [+human, +young, +male] (4) Girl= [+human, +young, -male] (Hu, Zhuanglin, 2001)
In other words, the word “girl” can have three basic factors (or semantic properties): human, young, and female (-male). Another example, being edible is an important factor by which plants may be distinguished from one another. To summarize, one word can have basic underlying meanings that are well established depending on the cultural context. It is crucial to understand these underlying meanings in any language and culture.
3.4 Prototype Theory
The most promising approach is based on the work of the psychologist Eleanor Rosch (Hudson, 2000), who showed that at least some concepts are organized around clear cases, or prototypes. In this theory, a concept has a feature-based definition, but the definition applies to the prototype, an abstract description of the most typical examples, with other examples fitting in as best they can. The prototype for “bird” has all the features we associate with typical birds—laying eggs, flying, having two wings and two legs, building a nest and having about the size of a blackbird. Compared with this model, blackbirds and sparrows are very “good” birds but ostriches are classified as birds because they do have some bird-features, and they are nearer to the prototype “bird” than they are to the prototype of any other comparable concept (animal, fish, insect, etc.), but they are exceptional. These examples show that how the idea of prototypes applies to the relationship between general concepts and their subconcepts. By placing “bird” in semantic system, we can have the image of a bird and its main characteristics. The prototype theory offers sociolinguists the possibility of using the theory in explaining how people categorize the social variables to which they relate language—variables such as the kind of person who is speaking and circumstances in which they are doing so. It was first used to define the category of natural-kind words, but it has now been applied more widely. Every prototype, whether based on gender, race, or other standards, is the image of the typical member of a social category. Beliefs about individual personality and ability of males and females are sex prototypes. The descriptions of sex prototypes are often based on the general personality traits of one sex. For example, many researches have found that men are commonly rated higher than women are on traits associated with competence and instrumentality. In contrast, women are usually praised for expressiveness, gentleness and awareness of the feelings of others. Although the prototype theory helps us categorize the surrounding world, it has the disadvantages of over-generalization. Concerned with moral beliefs, value systems, language and culture, the sex prototypes can easily form subjective judgments for standards. They are embedded with some hackneyed ideas or gender-biased attitudes. Due to the influences of the patriarchal society for thousands of years, social bias against
women reflects in the sex prototypes. The following is a contrast of prototypes between men and women in table 1.
Table 1 Common sex prototypes
a woman amiable emotional enjoys arts and literature does not use harsh language conservative subjective interested in her own appearance takes care of others garrulous neat dependent
a man aggressive rational likes math and science often uses slangs ambitious objective dominant over everything self-centered laconic slovenly independent
Contrastive Analyses of Linguistic Sexism in English and Chinese
In human community, although half of the members are female, the language is centered on the male members. Sexism in language is formed through three major means: language ignores women; language defines women as less significant than men; and language deprecates women. This chapter is endeavored to show how these means represent in English and Chinese, and make a comparison of the representations of linguistic sexism in the two languages.
4.1 Representations of Linguistic Sexism in English
Beyond all doubt, there exists sexism in the English language. They can be found at the following linguistic levels: lexical level, syntactic level, semantic level and discourse level.
4.1.1 Lexical Level
The phenomenon of linguistic sexism at English lexical level is obviously embodied in suffixes and compounds.
When analyzing linguistic sexism in English suffixes, the marked and unmarked terms can help to illuminate it. For example, “actor” is unmarked, which can refer to both a male and a female, while “actress” is marked because it is added a suffix –ess to only refer to a female. It is quite common in English for unmarked terms to refer to the male; while to refer to the female, the terms are marked by adding suffixes. This may make female terms seems to deviate from the “standard” and “dominating” norms. It is embodied a tendency in English that women’s linguistic existence is in many cases based on men’s, and women are regarded as a sort of male appendage. For example, many nouns referring to women are linguistically marked as derivatives from the forms of men. In most of the cases, the female form is marked and the male is unmarked and it is asymmetrical between male words and female words. There are a number of suffixes,
which are used to form the marked female terms in Table 2.
Table 2 Suffixes for marked feminine nouns
Suffixes Nouns for women (marked) Nouns for men or both men and women (unmarked)
-ess manageress baroness heiress manager Baron heir
-ette undergraduette editorette usherette undergraduate editor usher
-trix aviatrix executrix testatrix aviator executor testator
The suffixes –ess, -ette and -trix, are etymologically diminutive forms of the male terms. The suffix -ess has been used since the Middle Ages to form nouns implying female terms based on a neutral or a male form, which can be seen from Table 2. Except for referring to the female, the suffix -ette also has special connotations in modern English. According to New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998:632), it denotes: 1) relatively small size, e.g., maisonette, kitchenette and statuette; 2) an imitation or substitute, e.g., suedette, flannelette and winceyette. As for -trix, it has been used since the 15th century to form feminine agent nouns corresponding to masculine forms ending in –tor. The masculine terms can be used as a generic term to cover both men and women. It seems more logical to use the masculine terms in most of cases; therefore, women’s presence in the language is ignored. 184.108.40.206 Compounds To mark the referent as female, some words would be explicitly added to, such as “female”, “woman”, “lady” and “girl”. It reveals which professions are marked for which gender. For example, the unmarked term “judge” is often marked when tit refers to a woman (female judge), reflecting a cultural assumption that judges should be men. Other examples include “doctor” (woman doctor), “lawyer” (woman lawyer), “reporter” (girl reporter), and “attendant” (female attendant). The same pattern plays out in the following example: (5) The “documentary”, delightfully explores the rivalries between different orchestral sections, as well as some of the personal ones, like the feud between a woman cellist who
takes nips from a whisky bottle and a violinist she accuses of molesting little girls. (Stanley, 1977) From (5), it can be seen that the word “woman” is added to “cellist” to refer to a female, while “violinist” has no change to refer to a male according to the context. This reflects the dominant cultural assumptions that the people who play musical instruments are all men. In English, most professions are marked as masculine, such as scientist, musician, governor, minister, priest and so forth. On the contrary, a few professions, which have low requirements about skills or talents, are marked as feminine, e.g., nurse and secretary, and if it refers to a male, a masculine word should be added, male nurse, male secretary.
4.1.2 Syntactic Level
220.127.116.11 Word Order When joining words and constructing phrases, masculine words usually precede their feminine counterparts. This indicates that the male is regarded more valuable than the female, e.g., sirs and madams, father and mother, man and woman, host and hostess, boys and girls, brothers and sisters, king and queen and so on. The order of male and female has a long history in English. According to Spender (1980), such order originated from Mr. Wilson who regulated the order to place the male before the female in 1553. The “Eighty Eight Grammatical Rules” was put forward with in 1746, which prescribed that the male should naturally come before the female because the male was more comprehensive than the female. Besides, the male-female order prioritizes the male, since the elements in English that come first are generally regarded as the most important ones in terms of information processing. However, there also exist some exceptions, for example, “bride and groom”, and “ladies and gentlemen”. The former shows that marriage seems more important to women than to men, and the latter implies that women are weak and men should protect women. 18.104.22.168 Generic Masculine Terms One of the subtle ways in English syntax to represent linguistic sexism is the linguistic conventional use of generic masculine terms, which has been for long attacked by feminists. Among them, generic pronouns and generic nouns are the representatives.
22.214.171.124.1 Generic Pronouns Women are ignored in English through the usage of masculine terms, which can either specifically refer to males or generically refer to human beings. The generic pronoun “he”, with its variants— “his”, “him” “himself”, is perhaps the most significant manifestation of the generic masculine terms in English. The generic pronoun “he” and its variants will be used to refer to a non-gender specific noun in a sentence, For example: (6) The teacher was angry because none of the students had finished his homework. (7) Every people should love his own country more than himself; he should be loyal to his country. In (6), it is clear that all the students didn’t finish the homework, including boys and girls, the gender-specific pronoun “his” should be regarded as the reference of every boy and girl, that means the pronoun “his” are used generically. In (7), “he”, “his” and “himself” are also used not sex-specifically, but generically; that is, although the pronouns refer grammatically to the singular male citizen, they should be taken to refer to both male and female citizens in general. 126.96.36.199.2 Generic Nouns Some nouns in English can also be used generically. Many people take it for granted that masculine words include both males and females in the sense. In English, the same word that is used to refer to male human beings is also used in the generic sense, to refer to all human beings or humankind in general. The most obvious example is the usage of the all-purpose word “man/men”. In the Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1983), the definitions of “man” have two meanings: 1) person (man or woman); 2) (no definite article) human being. The generic use of “man/men” is quite hackneyed in proverbs and maxims, as the following examples: (8) Man is mortal. (9) Man proposes, God disposes. (10) Men will conquer nature. (11) Dead men tell no tales. Even in the Declaration of Independence of the USA, man is used as representatives of human beings. For example, “…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by
their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life liberty and pursuit of happiness”. Except for referring to humankind, the use of “man/men” to mean individual humans is another set of words, which are presumably sex-neutral. Many job titles have the ending “–man”, supposedly indicating a person of either sex. For example, “postman”, “milkman”, “businessman”, “policeman”, “fireman”, and “chairman” etc. It is also can be found in other professions, for example, “salesman”, “postman”, “congressman” and so on. All of these words were used for women as well as for men before the Feminist Movement. Nowadays, many counterparts for women in these professions are coined, such as “chairwoman” “firewoman” and “congresswoman”. As for “salesman”, there are several terms to refer to women: “saleswoman”, “saleslady”, and “salesgirl”. Although they seem to be synonyms, they suggest different social connotations. If a person is called as a “saleslady” or a “salesgirl”, she probably works in a retail establishment such as a department store or a variety store. A woman who sells mainframe computers to large corporations would be called as a “saleswoman”. In contrast, there is no such distinction for “salesman”. The choices of feminine forms according to women’s work places and positions show that women are still discriminated in their jobs, even if they take the same job as men and do what men do.
4.1.3 Semantic Level
Semantics is the branch of linguistic that studies the meaning of language. Semantic study involves people’s subjective opinions and psychological factors. The change of cultural ideas will have an impact on non-conceptual meanings. Semantic manifestations of linguistic sexism can be shown in semantic components, connotative meaning, semantic collocation and semantic changes. 188.8.131.52 Semantic Components Semantic Components, also known as Semantic Features, is the meaning in terms of units smaller than the word meaning. That is, the meaning of a word is not an unanalysable whole. It can be seen as a complex of different semantic features (Hu Zhuanglin, 2001). There are semantic units smaller than the meaning of a word. For example, the meaning of the word “boy” may be analysed into three components: [+human, +young, +male].
Similarly, “girl” may be analysed into [+human, +young, -male]. Leech uses “male” and “minus male” to distinguish the semantic space because almost all basic forms of English animate nouns are masculine. People can take one of “male” and “female” as the basic form and treat another as the opposite of the basic one. Stanley (1977) has found that the male occupy most of the semantic space, and the female are put into the space of negative, even sexual connotations. Besides, let us have a look at the semantic features of nouns concerning professions. As is mentioned above, the respectable and decent professions which require skills and knowledge are necessarily reserved for men, and [+male] is attributed to one of their semantic features. On the contrary, the menial professions that do not need much skill, such as nurse, secretary and model are labeled as female. Traditionally, the female acts as a mother or a wife, and her semantic space are merely restricted in this range. Terms that are marked for female from a male point of view refer to specifically female activities. Even if a female takes the same job as a male does in the high-ranked professions, the semantic features of the professions would not change or add [/+female] as a supplementary. 184.108.40.206 Connotative Meanings In English, the apparently exact counterparts of the two sexes can bring about drastically contrastive connotations. Woman does not share equal status with man, because woman has become pejorative while man has remained pure and untainted, protected by its semantic connotative association with the male. The words for women convey negative connotations even if they describe and refer to the same situation as the masculine ones. For example, “bachelor” and “spinster” refer to an unmarried adult. “Bachelor” refers to a male with positive or neutral connotation, whereas “spinster” is marked for females and it is negative (Spender, 1980). Lakoff (1975) shares the same idea. According to her, “spinster” and “bachelor” are parallel to “cow” and “bull” denotatively: one is for the male, the other is for the female, and both mean one who is not married. However, “bachelor” is at least a neutral term that is sometimes used as a compliment, while “spinster” is a derogatory term, commutated prissiness, fussiness, and so on. Similar to “bachelor” and “spinster, “widow” and “widower” also have different
connotations. Theoretically, a bereaved husband and a bereaved wife are equivalents: they both have lost a mate. While practically, “widow” are more often used than “widower”, which implies that this kind of information is not important for men. 220.127.116.11 Semantic Collocation Lakoff (1975) has noted that when terms and labels are applied to men, they are more likely to have a wide frame of reference; while the same terms and labels are applied to women, they are likely to be narrow in semantic meaning and with sexual assumption. Lakoff took the word “professional” as a representative example in her book. When the sex changes, so does the meaning, indicating the sex dimension of semantics. Let us see the following sentences. (12) They told me that Jack was a professional. (13) They told me that Catherine is a professional. In (12), Jack may be a doctor, a lawyer, or a football player, or one of the skilled professions. Whereas, in (13), it seems that Catherine is a prostitute. Many other words can prove the linguistic sexism in semantic collocation. The second example is the word “tramp”. In Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1983), it means, “... a person with no home or job, who wanders from place to place” or “a woman considered as sexually immoral”. A male tramp refers to someone who sleeps rough while a female tramp implies that she is promiscuous. Besides nouns, adjectives can also prove the difference in semantic collocation. For example, “loose” looks like a neutral word for man and women. In fact, a loose woman refers to a sexually promiscuous woman whereas a loose man just means that he is casual. Moreover, another interesting phenomenon is that when a word for female is used to refer to a male, it means insulting the man; otherwise, if a word for male is used for female it means praising the woman. The collocation of “bachelor girl” praises the girl as supporting herself by her own labor. Conversely, if we call a man “spinster” or “old maid”, he will feel insulted by being interpreted as overcautious, nervousness, or a man who is often troubled by unimportant things. If a girl acts like a boy, she can be called as “tomboy”. That is a neutral comment or even praise. But if a man is described as “beautiful”, he will feel upset or insulted. It means the man is lack of masculine
temperament. 18.104.22.168 Semantic Changes Semantic changes have complicated cultural and psychological contributing factors. According to Cao Wutang (1997), the changing patterns can be classified into: 1) semantic narrowing; 2) semantic broadening; 3) semantic degradation and 4) semantic elevation. Here, the thesis will be focused on three aspects: semantic broadening, semantic narrowing and semantic degradation, from which it can be seen that connotations of female words often change greatly, usually from appreciation to depreciation, while connotations of male words keep the same. 22.214.171.124.1 Semantic Broadening Through gradual broadening of meaning, some honorific titles for female could only refer to noble or high status women in the past. Now they can be used for female from all social strata. For example, opposite to “lord”, “lady” was used for women of prestige, meaning cultured and high social stratum women. In Silas Marner (Lakoff, 1975), a woman is described as the following: (14) “She had the essential attributes of a lady-high veracity, delicate honor in her dealings, deference to others, and refined personal hobbies.” Here, “lady” represents noble and elegant woman. In modern English, “lady” is used to address any woman of any kind, with or without good manners and refinement. As for usage, “lady” is mainly the opposite of “man” or “gentleman”, but not “lord”. For example, in shops, we can call female shop assistants “salesladies”, but not “saleslords” for male shop assistants. Instead, we call them “salesmen”. In clothes shops, clothes for women are called “ladies’ wears”, and clothes for men are “men’s wears” (Trudgill, 1984). Beyond that, some strange things have happened to “lady”. It can be used to call a mistress. However, as Lakoff (1975) points out, the meaning for “lord” does not change, remaining the honorific title for noble man or senior official. Another example is “madam”, which was once a great honorific title. It comes from French word “madame”. In the 14th and 15th centuries, “madam” was used as an honorable title to call officials’ wives in towns. Men called their lovers “madam” to show respect. Even before the Religious Reformation in the 16th century, nuns were also called “madam”.
But during the Monarchy Restoration period, the word “madam” was derogated to “mistress” or “prostitute”, according to Oxford English Dictionary (1989). Now, “madam” continues to develop to mean a keeper and procurer of woman for men to use for sexual purposes. The opposite of “madam” is “sir”, which keeps as a polite address for man. Through historic research in female honorific titles and comparison to male honorific titles, it clearly presents us the one-way development from appreciation to depreciation for female words. 126.96.36.199.2 Semantic Narrowing Some words could be used for both males and females in the past, but now they can only refer to female and contain depreciative meaning. For example, “whore” meant “lover” in the old ages, which included both male and female without any depreciative meaning. In modern English, it is used only for women, and contains humiliation. “Slut” and “slattern” originally meant “untidy person”. Now it is used only for women, meaning “dirty, untidy dressed woman” in Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English (1995). The same conclusion can be reached by looking into the changes of “harlot” and “gossip”. “Harlot” originally means “unchaste persons of both sexes”. There is no semantic difference in both sexes. After the Elizabeth Age, the semantic meaning of “harlot” was narrowed. It developed into “an unchaste woman, a prostitute”, according to Oxford English Dictionary (1989). It is the same with the semantic development of “gossip”. Its original meaning was god parent: a godfather or godmother. Nowadays, “gossip” develops gradually from a godparent to “a person, mostly a woman of light and trifling character, esp. one who delights in idle talk, a news monger, a tattler” in Oxford English Dictionary (1989). 188.8.131.52.3 Semantic Degradation Some feminine words in English that begin with either neutral or positive connotations finally acquire negative connotations or sexual slurs. In the past, “master” and “mistress” were simple male-female equivalents, both referring to the owner of a house or something else. With the society developing, “master” usually refers to a man who controls others or who has great ability in some fields. However, “mistress” cannot be interpreted in
this way. It practically means paramour in modern English. “Master” means talented person, while “mistress” means somebody’s inamorata. It can be explained as that “master” still refers to the owner of somebody or some activity while “mistress” refers the possessive of somebody’s. Another pair of words “boy” and “girl” can also prove semantic degradation. “Boy” was used to refer to a male child under the age of seventeen. Sometimes it was used to call male adult, without derogatory sense, and it is the same now. “Girl” originally meant a female child. Thereafter, it got the meaning of girl servant, then prostitute or mistress. It has undergone semantic degradation over time. Today, “girl” refers to a young woman, but still has the derogatory meanings.
4.1.4 Discourse Level
Discourse is concerned with how language is used rather than with how language is structured. It is especially concerned with various ways in which many social contexts of language performance can influence interpretation. American linguist Joos (1968) defined five stages of degree of formality, namely: frozen, formal, consultative, casual, and intimate. The thesis puts the five stages into three stages: formal, consultative and casual. Based on that, the discourse can be divided into three types: formal discourse, less formal discourse and informal discourse. 184.108.40.206 Formal Discourse In formal discourse, the thesis mainly analyses the representations of linguistic sexism in newspapers, dictionaries, and educational books. 220.127.116.11.1 Newspapers The linguistic portrayal of women in the mass media plays an important role in the society due to the significance of mass media in molding and influencing people’s attitudes. The media show women’ status in society, and reinforce it in people’ minds. If the language of the media constantly makes us look women in a particular pattern, its cumulative effect is possibly to be pervasive. Pearson’s researches conducted in newspapers about article’s features and job advertisements show that linguistic sexism in newspapers concerns two aspects: the invisibility of women and assumed women images.
According to his survey, women seldom appear on the usual pages in the quality newspapers. The Financial Newspaper, for instance, almost keeps women off the front page; besides, the courtesy titles for women often signal a woman’s marital status. The attempts to produce female male equivalents for “Mr.”, have not been with much enthusiasm. Only the form “Ms” is now quite widely used and has begun to be used in some official reports. In England, the only English quality paper that regularly uses the courtesy title “Ms” is the Guardian. However, it seems that the choices depend on the journalist rather than any editorial policy. The Times avoids “Ms” entirely except when women adopt the title themselves in the letters. The Telegraph completely avoids “Ms” as does the Independent. Mail and Express uses the form only when they are writing articles about so-called “women’s libbers”, which suggests at best irony and at worst plain malice. The invisibility of women also can be evidenced in the use of masculine generic terms. Coates (1993), has already reported in a survey of American periodical publications, which aims at tracing the changes in the use of andocentric generic terms over the period from 1971 to 1979. The use of “man” or masculine terms for reference of undetermined or mixed genders was one category of andocentric use. Another category that Coates investigates is the use of compounds ending in “-man”. Smith (1985) finds that some lexical choices in the newspaper greatly defined the images of women. From the above-cited titles, we can find that women are not regarded as newsworthy and are given little importance. For example, a summit conference is called “Girl Talk”, because English Prime Minister Thatcher is a woman. In contrast, even a man has died; he is reported in the name of his career, while a woman is just a “woman”. 18.104.22.168.2 Dictionaries Smith (1985) points out that some words are sex-turned even if they are in the dictionaries. The first English-Latin dictionary, Promptorium Parvulorum et Clericorum, was published in 1449, in which definitions has already reflected the superiority of the male and it revealed the existence of sex prototypes. In Oxford English Dictionary (1989), “manly” is explained as many virtues possessed by men: “having a man’s virtues, courage, frankness, etc.”. Nevertheless, if “manly” is used to depict a woman, it means she has a man’s qualities rather than virtues. The definition of “womanly” is unspecified: “(of
woman or her feelings, behavior, etc.) having or showing the qualities befitting a woman”. The definitions of other two words in the dictionary can also be taken as examples. The first one is “satyriasis” which means “excessively great sexual desire in the male”. The second one is “nymphomania”, referring to “a feminine disease caused by morbid and uncontrollable sexual desire”. The desire of men is just a desire, whereas the desire of women becomes a disease. In Roget’s Thesaurus (1980:162), it gives many words concerned about learning and knowledge. Most of them are male words, and there are only two negative words for the female: “bas-bleu” and “bluestocking”. Besides, there are few words referring to men under the entry of negative words. For example, under the entry of “untidy person”, mostly are female words, such as “slut”, “frump”, “drab”, “draggletail”, and “slattern”. In Roget’s Thesaurus, under the entry of “libertine”, female words are twice than male words. 22.214.171.124.3 Educational Books Educational books for young learners are among the most important research objects to analyse linguistic sexism, because linguistic sexism would influence children’s socialization, especially during the pre-schooling and schooling periods. Through picture books, reading books and schoolbooks, the sex-stereotyped and gender-biased information would be planted into children’s minds. The stereotyped images make women invisible except in roles like mother, daughter, and housewives. Moreover, nurse and secretary are the images that can be widely seen in educational books. First, schoolbooks contain more men than women as examples. Second, men in stories are more active and less restricted than women are. Third, books always ignore women’s and girl’s experiences and contributions to the society. All these would influence children’s minds and in certain respects hinder their choices, and particularly in choosing their careers. Wu Dairong (2004) has made a survey of 163 reading books in English. Their research reveals an imbalance in relation to names used for boys and girls. About 2,000 names for boys as opposed to 1,400 for girls are used in the corpus. Except names, they also investigate the elaborations of other gender terms, and their findings confirm the strong tendency of sex stereotyping in educational books.
Graham (1975) analyses the sentences in children’s books used to illustrate word entries in American Heritage Dictionary of the 1974 school edition. The results indicate that references to boys and men far outnumber the references to girls and women. The use of “he”, “him” and “his” is almost four times frequent than the use of “she”, “her” and “hers”. He firstly assumes that this discrepancy could have been due in part to the convention of using masculine terms in a generic sense for referring to people in general. To test his assumption, Graham obtains a random sample of 940 citation sentences containing “he” and finally finds that only 3 percent could be interpreted in the generic sense. Almost 80 percent refer explicitly to a male human being, 14 percent refer to male animals, and the rest refer to agents like farmers and sailors, nouns with strong masculine connotations (1975:45). One of the crucial functions of educational systems in any culture is to socialize people into different roles in the society. Children’s original ideas are greatly influenced by the pictures they see, or writings they read and other people read to them. In these reading materials, boys and girls are usually depicted differently. Girls should be well mannered, ever since they were children, and otherwise they would be looked down upon. From the above, it can be concluded that women are often excluded from being the meaning makers or as sources of meaning and words in educational books. This exclusion or omission is generally the result of the phenomenon that the criteria and language of the educational books are generally made by man, just as Spender said, the “man-made language”. 126.96.36.199 Less Formal Discourse In less formal discourse, the thesis focuses on the analysis of linguistic sexism in magazines, TV programs and Internet. 188.8.131.52.1 Magazines Li Chunxia (2005), investigates many popular magazines in USA, such as Reader’s Digest, TIME, Life, People, and Cosmopolitan women, and their circulations all exceeds one million. She suggests that most magazines regularly give fuller descriptions of people, in which men are usually referred to by age and job (or lack of it), while women are referred to by age and marital status (or lack of it). For example, in an article to describe
the people who live in flats under bad conditions, women are described as: (15) “Debbie, a mother of three children” (16) “18-year-old unmarried mother Karrie” (17) “old Mrs. King, presumably respectably married” Sometimes, even more details are added to the description of women, for example, “26-year-old brunette Gabrielle” or “black beauty Vanessa Williams”. The pages of gossip about women usually give a fuller picture. Another feature of these descriptions about women is that they are referred to by only their first names or with the surnames of their husbands. This is not often done with men, except the famous stars, e.g. Mick for Mick Jogger. The use of first name usually implies familiarity or affection, but it also implies contempt. 184.108.40.206.2 TV programs Holmes (1992) has analysed the roles of women in television soap operas, which shows that females, especially the positive heroines, are mostly modeled as beautiful, obedient and subordinate to men, including the fairy tales and Disney movies. He also reaches another conclusion from commercial documentaries. Almost 90 percent of the authority figures in these documentaries are represented by the aside commentary of a male announcer. As for the professions, females in the documentaries tend to be restricted in domestic roles, while males dominate the government, company and other high-ranked occupational categories. 220.127.116.11.3 Internet After the appearance of the Internet, people begin to communicate with each other in a quick and efficient way. Feminists once expected women to use this opportunity to own a vehicle to change their secondary status. The Internet involves more than any other traditional media in terms of population of women and information about women. However, many websites reveal that the roles of women on the Internet are similar to those in the traditional media. The columns for women, such as “Beautification”, “Fashion”, “Cooking”, and “Emotion” give a description of women as that women are still restricted and interested in the traditional roles as wife and mother. It is more apparent to compare the column names for women with those for men on man-related websites, e.g. “World
Affairs”, “Politics”, “Auto Horizon”, “Outdoors Sports”, “Science and Technology” and so on. People tend to form different opinions about the two sexes from the different column names between men and women. 18.104.22.168 Informal Discourse In informal discourse, the thesis will represent that how linguistic sexism is embedded in daily-using language, proverbs and idioms, and cursing words. 22.214.171.124.1 Daily-using Language In daily life, we address, speak to, and talk with other people. Nevertheless, we also perpetuate the sexist usage of language unconsciously. The thesis will reveal its manifestations in addressing titles and slangs that we use everyday. 1) Addressing Titles Firstly, the courtesy titles for women differ according to their marital status, while that for men keeps the same regardless of their marital status. “Mr.” is the title placed before a man’s last name, regardless of his marital status; “Mrs.” is placed before a married woman’s last name and “Miss” before the last name of an unmarried woman or a girl. This implies unfairly that it is more important for a woman than for a man to show their marital status. Secondly, according to the conventions, it is the male, father and husband, who has right to decide what names the women and children will bear (Eschholz, 1974:128). Women lose their surnames and adopt their husband’s surnames after marriage. And children naturally take their fathers’ surnames. Women cannot keep their own surnames nor give their surnames to children, which more distinctly ignores women and makes women invisible. Even after her husband’s death, she has to keep it unless she remarries. This subtly reinforces the concept of women as the property of men. There is a typical riddle to illustrate this point. It goes “Mr. Bigger died. Then who was bigger?” The answer is “Mrs. Bigger, for she was Bigger still.” 2) Slangs Slang is a nonstandard subset of vocabulary to a particular culture. It consists of raw and unrefined expressions, many of which are considered lowclass, vulgar and derogatory. In English slangs, a “call girl” is a prostitute. In fact, there are far more words for prostitute
than those for their customers. Klerk (1990) points out that the wild use of slangs among males should attribute to the daring nature of slangs, as well as to the self-esteem character of males. Moreover, the high frequency of the use of obscene words found in male peer groups may lead to the greater prevalence of slangs among males (Romain, 1994). In The Book of Slang (Dennis, 1983), there are so many terms depersonalized and metaphorized women as some kinds of foods, plants and animals. Firstly, let us look at some slang in which foods are used to refer to women. (18) Cheese cake: portrayal of shapely female body, esp. in adverting Mutton: middle-aged or elderly woman dressed to look young Peach: beautiful woman Sweet-pie: mistress Tomato: beautiful girl, prostitute Tart: coquettish woman Secondly, there are some examples using plants to refer to women. (19) Blossom: women Cling vine: women who are dependent on men Daisy: pretty girl Rosebud: pretty and unsophisticated girl Shrinking violet: a shy woman Thirdly, there are also some examples in which animals are used to refer to women. (20) Bitch: sly or spiteful woman, prostitute Butterfly: a light woman Cat: spiteful or malicious women Crone: withered old woman Dragon: stern and vigilant woman On the contrary, men are seldom metaphorized as foods and flowers. The only flower used to refer to men is “pansy” which means gay or effeminate man. Using animals to describe men is quite different from that of women, which implies that men are strong and smart. For example: (21) Buck: a playboy
Fox: a cunning man Lion: a brave or eminent person, a celebrity Tiger: a fierce, energetic or formidable man 126.96.36.199.2 Proverbs and Idioms Proverbs and idioms are extracted from social practices and passed down from one generation to another over years. They are language fossils. As an important component of language, they mirror geography, history, social system and social ideas of a nation. By examining the English proverbs and idioms, the deep-rooted sexist ideology will be fully revealed. Many proverbs and idioms do harm to women by describing them as vicious and greedy people. For example: (22) Women are the devil’s nets. (23) Nothing agrees worse than a lady’s heart and beggar’s purse. (24) No devil is so bad as she devil. (25) A nice wife and a back door rob the house. (26) Dear bought and far-fetched is dainties for women. In addition, many proverbs and idioms portray women as always poke their noses into other’s business and talk endlessly. For example: (27) A woman’s tongue is the last thing about her that dies. (28) One tongue is enough for a woman. (29) Three women and a goose make a market. In the past, women are assumed to have no wisdom and ideas. Proverbs and idioms describe women as stupid and ignorant. For example: (30) A woman’s advice is never to seek. (31) When an ass climbs a ladder, we may find wisdom in women. (32) Women in state affairs are like monkeys in glass shops. In the old days, women are not regarded as mates by their husbands, but as their property. Hence, in some proverbs sand idioms, women are mentioned in the same breath with beer and sword. For example: (33) Every groom is a king at home.
(34) Some good things I don’t have: a good long smile, a good smell beer and a good old woman. (35) A horse, a wife and a sword may be showed but not lent. Since wives are under control of men, it is not weird that they are ill-treated, just as a proverb goes “A woman, a dog and a walnut tree, the more you beat them, the better they will be”. 188.8.131.52.3 Cursing Words Language not only functions as a tool for people to speak favorably of others, but may also serve for people to insult others. Cursing words are used to pray or appeal to God, heaven, or spirits, etc., to befall evil or misfortune on someone or something in order to show anger, hatred, jealousy or insult. Simpson (1993) finds that 66 languages, among the 103 she has investigated, consider directly cursing at the opponent’s mother as the gravest offence and insult. It is familiar to us with the cursing words having the word “mother” as a part, e.g., “mother fucker” (despised person), “mother hen” (a person who excessively cares for others, especially a fussy old woman). In reverse, there are not any cursing expressions involving “father” can be found. This kind of asymmetry in English reflects the prejudice and derogation against women in the male-dominated society. To sum, in English, it is man whose characteristics and activities are taken as the norm for linguistic expressions and language practices, which make woman invisible and secondary in the language and society.
4.2 Representations of Linguistic Sexism in Chinese
Unlike English morpheme, the smallest unit to compose the Chinese writing system is 字 (character). Each character is unchangeable, inflected, and equivalent to a root. The majority of Chinese characters are free, that is, each can be used by itself as a word, e.g., “人” (person), “高” (tall), and “小” (small) and so on. Only a few of Chinese characters should be used together with others to show a whole meaning, such as “子” in “狮子” (lion), “种子” (seed) and “子嗣” (son and heir). The phenomenon of linguistic sexism in Chinese, as in English, can be revealed from the following linguistic levels: lexical level, syntactic level, semantic level and discourse
4.2.1 Lexical Level
Linguistic sexism at Chinese lexical level is embodied in characters and compounds. 184.108.40.206 Characters When trying to analyse the representations in Chinese characters, we firstly introduce the division of them. They can be divided into six categories according to the character formations: 象 形 (pictographs), 指 事 (self-explanatory characters), 会 意 (associative compounds), 形声(pictophonetic characters), 转注(mutually explanatory characters) and 假借(phonetic loan characters). Actually, the last two kinds are not the real character formations; they can only be regarded as usages of other kinds of characters. Among the remaining four kinds of characters, the pictographs are the earliest, which can best present the characters’ original meanings, even if having a low percentage. And the pictophonetic characters are the most popular and occupy the highest percentage. Therefore, the thesis would focus on the pictographs and pictophonetic characters. 220.127.116.11 .1 Pictographs The simplest ideograph is pictograph, consisting of a drawing or a combination of drawings to represent a thing or action. For example: (36) “大” (big): a standing man with his legs apart and his arms stretching out (37) “水” (water): the lines of a flowing river (38) “日” (sun): a circle with a dot in the middle “女” is also a pictograph, which is most noticeable representation of linguistic sexism in Chinese Characters. Its original form is written in oracle bone inscriptions showing a modest woman squatting down with hands crossed in front of her body. In ancient China, it was pronounced the same as “奴” (slave) and it was actually the equivalent of “奴”. At that time, women slaves were bound to the household chores and their main work was to serve men, and the character has reflected the inequality in social division between women and men. “奴”originally refers to criminals and prisoners of wars including both man and women, whereas it is formed by a “女” as a radical, showing the discrimination against women. 18.104.22.168. 2 Pictophonetic Characters
With the development of the society and the improvement of the writing system, more and more pictophonetic characters emerged. A pictophonetic character is composed of two parts: a radical, denoting the meaning of the character, and a phonetic element, giving the clue of pronunciation. For example, “湖”(lake) is made up of “水”(radical) and “胡” (phonetic element); “榴” (pomegranate) consists of “木” (radical) and “留” (phonetic element). Some Chinese characters used in mainland have been simplified from the ancient forms, with the original meanings kept. “女” has been discussed as a pictograph. It is the formative part as a radical to devise many Chinese characters, many of which have negative connotations and the number of these characters is astonishing in Chinese. For example, the character “妇” is explained as “妇，服也。从女执帚，洒扫也” in 《说文解字》 (Origin of Chinese Characters, 2004). It means a woman who carries a broom can be called “妇” and she should be obedient. There are 174 characters with radical “女” in《新华字典》(New Chinese Dictionary, 1991), from which it can be revealed that how Chinese philosophy combines with the characters to express the gender bias and discrimination against women. According to their functions and connotations, the thesis categorizes them as in Table 3.
Table 3 Seven categories of the characters with radical “女”
property Neutral, as addresses and surnames Neutral, indicating the function of females Neutral, indicating relationship between males and females negative
examples 奶，孀，姥，婆，媳，姆，妾， 姜 妊，娩，娠，
婚，娶，嫁，媒，媾，姘 奸，妄，妨，婪，嫉，妒，嫌， 妖，耍 娇，好，娟，娜，婕，媚，嬉， 姿，婉，婵，妍，婷， 姓，始，如，娑，委
Among the 174 characters, there are 28 negative characters used to denote human’s
weakness, from which it can be conferred that indecent manners are derived from the female and only restricted to the female. There are altogether 49 positive characters to describing women’s beauty. However, it is from men’s perspective and reflects men’s tastes and interests. From that, it can be found that women are passive and they are objects of sex. Another four characters can be used to show women’s states of being pregnancy and gestation, emphasizing that women are the tools of childbearing. Other 12 are used to describe the relationship between women and men, indicating the low status of women in ancient China. 22.214.171.124 Compounds Sexism in Chinese morphology can also be found in compounds. In Chinese, most occupational terms are taken for granted for the male, and an additional character 女 should be added to specify the sex of female, for example, “女作家” (authoress), “女警察” (policewoman), “女博士” (a women with a doctor’s degree), “女人大代表” (women delegates of China’s National People’s Congress), “女中央委员” (women members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China). For a woman who has achieved success in her career, she is likely to be called “女强 人” (able woman), sometimes with the connotation of stubbornness and weirdness. On the contrary, no man is addressed as “男强人” (able man). The only possible explanation is that people take men’s success for granted but that of women’s for unusual and surprising. Similarly, “英雄” (hero) usually refers to males, as in the phrases like “英雄好汉” and “英 雄豪杰”. If it refers to a female, “巾帼英雄” should be used, and “巾帼” equals to “女”. In fact, there also exist a few occupational terms only for women in Chinese. If it refers to a man, a male markedness will be added. Moreover, these occupations are only restricted in the simple and humble ones which requires little knowledge and skill. As the same condition in English, the discriminatory practices often make women invisible or secondary, which have a negative effect on the linguistic portrayal of women.
4.2.2 Syntactic Level
126.96.36.199 Word Order In Chinese, the word order of making females come second is astonishingly the same as that in English, for example, “男女” (male and female), “夫妻” (husband and wife), “子
女” (son and daughter), “父母”(father and mother), “公婆” (father-in-law and motherin-law), “兄嫂” (brother and sister-in-law), “男耕女织” (men plough and women spin). All the pairs above, without exception, put men in the first place, which reflects the deep-rooted traditional ethics in China, including that men are the authority in a family; and women are taken as the private property of men. The male-female patterns also imply women’s dependence on men and reflect the discriminative attitude against women in the society. 188.8.131.52 Generic Masculine Terms 184.108.40.206.1 Generic Pronouns In Chinese, the generic pronouns are often represented by masculine pronouns such as “他”(he), “他的”(his), “他们”(they), “他们的” (their). These masculine pronouns will be used when the sex is not specific or both sexes are included, or even when the female sex is specified. For example: (39) 如个别人一样，整个人类也担负着他的过去的生活的重压。 (Mankind is heavily burdened with his past as his individual members are.) (He Qifang, 1987)
(40) 从笔迹上看不出他是男的还是女的。 (The handwriting does not tell he is a man or woman.) 220.127.116.11.2 Generic Nouns There also exist some masculine nouns in Chinese that can be used generically (Zhu Wenjun, 2000). The basic meaning of “父” (father) is a male parent, but it also has some extended meanings. For example, “父” in “师父” (teachers or any people who guides you) and “父辈” (father’s generation, elder generation) may involve both sexes. Similarly, “子” (son) basically refers to a male. However, in “大地之子” (son of the earth) and “赤子”(a newborn baby), it refers to human being involving either the male or the female. Thus, it is a common practice in Chinese that the masculine terms are used generically to cover the cases of the female, whereas their counterparts “母” (mother) and 女儿 (daughter) should be specified only to women. This practice contributes to the invisibility of women in linguistic representation. (Chao Jizhou, 1996:1215)
4.2.3 Semantic Level
18.104.22.168 Connotative Meanings
There exists the same phenomenon in Chinese. Many paralleled terms for two sexes refer to the same meaning superficially, but in fact the terms for men mostly have positive or neutral meanings and the terms for women have negative and pejorative meanings. Let’s take a pair of equivalent terms as an example: “ 单身汉 ” (bachelor) and “ 老姑娘 ” (spinster). Denotatively, the two terms both mean one who remains single beyond the age of marriage. Nevertheless, their resemblance ends there. “单身汉” is a neutral term, sometimes used as a compliment, while “老姑娘” is always used pejoratively, suggesting that they are unmarried not because they have chosen to, but that they are unattractive and unwanted. So we may say, “钻石王老五” or “快乐的单身汉” (merry bachelors). On the contrary, “快乐的老姑娘” (merry spinsters) is never heard, but “老处女” or “剩女” (old maid). We’ll have another pair of terms: “雌” and “雄”. “雌” is a feminine term, e.g. “雌鸡” (hen) and “雄” is a masculine term, e.g. “雄鹰” (lanneret). Actually, their connotative meanings differentiate a lot. All of the phrases with “雌” have negative and derogatory meanings, such as “雌服” (submit and give in), “雌弱” (weak and unmanly). On the contrary, all the phrases with “雄” have the connotation of strength and mightiness, such as “雄壮” (sturdiness), “雄伟” (majesty), “雄辩” (eloquence). The examples prove that the linguistic sexism is deeply rooted in Chinese. 22.214.171.124 Semantic Changes There are a few examples of semantic changes in Chinese. Only one obvious example of semantic degradation can be found. In Chinese, “小姐” (a young girl) originally referred to a daughter of a rich family, as in “千金小姐”. It gradually gained some negative connotations. Since 1990s in China, “小姐”has gained the connotation of prostitute. “找小 姐” means to have sex relationship with a prostitute. In some regions of China, it is taboo to call a young woman “小姐”. However, the counterpart of it——“先生” has never got the same fate as the “小姐”.
4.2.4 Discourse Level
126.96.36.199 Formal Discourse 188.8.131.52.1 Newspapers It is the same situation in Chinese newspapers. Women are largely invisible because
of their absence as the subject of stories or topics of articles. Some empirical evidence of women’s absence was provided by Capital female journalist’s association in 1996 (Yang Wenwu, 2005), who analysed the content of eight newspapers of the most authoritative and popular ones in China: People’s Daily (人民日报), Guangming Daily (光明日报), Legal Daily (法制日报), Economic Daily (经济日报), Farmer’s Daily (农民日报), China Youth Daily (中国青年报), Worker’s Daily (工人日报), Wenhui News (文汇报). It is found that news items are more likely to be written by men and to be about men. Among the news report that they studied, men occupies 83.19 percent in the major newsperson, and the percentage goes high up with the age of interviewees. The senior have an overwhelming advantage, the youth occupy less than 10 percent and women only have a percentage of 16.81, which mostly are young women. Besides, among the interviewees, the professions of men present the high unitarity and authority: most of them are political leaders and enterprise managers. On the contrary, women’s professions are dispersive and marginal. Political leader, enterprise manager, actress, athlete and other professions occupy the approximate percentage. In addition, among the women, 98.14 percent of them emerge with the identity of men’s family members or spouses. The researches’ results provide enough evidence for the belief that women are ignored and women’s functions are not reasonably reflected. Furthermore, it is found that men are more often quoted as saying things than women and are more often attributed as being the agents of action than women. The committee interprets those news reports and analyses the linguistic features of them. The experience of the man is foregrounded: he is the first person to be mentioned, the grammatical subject of the sentence. The woman, in each case, is referred to as a man’s wife rather than an individual. To sum, women are ignored in news reports because they are not the writers and subjects of stories, and they are marginalized because they are excluded from the roles of active agents. 184.108.40.206.2 Dictionaries Besides the character “女” mentioned above, there are still many evidences that can prove the contempt on women in dictionaries. The Chinese cosmology involving the principles of “阴” (Yin) and “阳” (Yang) also shows traces of sexism. The entries for “阴”
and “阳” in Modern Chinese Dictionary (2002), translated into English, are as follows: “阴”: simplified from “陰” and “隂”, originated from “阜阴”, basically means the north of a hill or south of a river; 1) in ancient Chinese philosophy or medicine, the feminine or negative principle in nature, one of the opposites embedded in all matters in universe, the opposite is “阳”; 2) the moon; 3) shade ; 4) in the shade, shady; 5) in intaglio; 6) genitals; 7) autumn and winter; 8) water; 9) hidden; 10) secret, in private 11) of nether world; 12) women; 13) grave, tomb; 14) ghosts and monsters; 15) negative. “阳”: originated from “阜阳”, basically means the south of a hill or north of a river; 1) the masculine or positive principle in nature in Chinese philosophy, medicine, etc.; 2) sun; 3) in front; at the head; 4) male genitals; 5) the tenth month of the lunar year; 6) semen; 7) outside, out; 8) fine day, sunny day; 9) sky, heavens; 10) the world; 11) front; 12) pupil; 13) internal organ; 14) spring and summer; 15) noon; 16) positive. From the explanations under the entries of “阴” and “阳”, it can be concluded that the Yin principle is closely associated with women, nature, passivity and physicality. Whereas, the Yang principle relates to men, culture, creativity and intellect. The superiority of the Yang principle over the Yin principle is taken for granted by people. For example, the moon is smaller and much less luminous than the sun. Hence, a negative value is attached to the female elements and this is also reflected in the phrases composed of “ 阴 ”. Examples of the phrases are “阴损” (sinister and vicious), “阴险” (treacherous), “阴鹜” (ruthless), “阴谋诡计”(machination), “阴笑” (insidious smile) and so on, all with negative connotations. In Advanced Chinese Dictionary (1986), there are 55 phrases related with “阴”, among which, 28 are negative, and only 4 are positive. In a startling contrast, of the 27 phrases associated with “阳”, only 3 are negative, and the rest are positive or neutral. The overall negative value of the Yin and the positive value of the Yang can prove the linguistic sexism in dictionary again. The recorded meanings of a certain character associated with the female are the best examples to reveal the stereotyped portray in language and the male-biased attitude in the society. 220.127.116.11.3 Educational Books
It is exactly the same story in Chinese educational books. From children’s picture books, first readers and first schoolbooks, a textual and visual image emerges which is sex-stereotyped and biased against the portrayal of girls and women. Both female and male characters’ behaviors strictly follow the assumed sex prototypes in activities. Furthermore, males are visually and verbally more prominent than females. Usually there is a greater diversity of male characters engaged in a greater and more diverse range of activities than women and girls characters. Song Hongbo (2002) has analysed some schoolbooks edited by the PRC Ministry of Education, and he has found that women are generally invisible in the texts. Let us take the Chinese Language Reader as an example (1998). In Book 6, among the 13 heroes, except Madame Curie the only female who gets a brief mention, the rest 12 are all men who act as political leaders, inventors, scientists, generals, academics occupying long texts. There are 68 illustrations of characters in the book, 51 are males and 17 females. In addition, among the 17 female characters, three adults act as mother and homemakers, cooking, taking care of children, or raising silkworms at home; and the 14 girls mostly appear to accompany their boy schoolmates or other male characters. Also in the book, when both parents appear, they display different interests: fathers are more interested in science, politics and sports, while mothers are primarily portrayed as caring about children, involved in household chores, concerned about their looks, troubled by emotions and feelings of fear, interested in culture and, finally, devoted to a man or men. Without exception, men always precede women. Some statements in the texts and exercises can also reveal the writers’ emphasis on male, as in the following two statements: (41) 他对科学开始发生兴趣。(He began to take interest in science.) (42) 我们班上功课最好的同学是王新。(Wang Xin excels all his classmates.) 18.104.22.168.4 Official Documents In Chinese, there is always a character “女” in brackets to mark the female names in the name lists of official documents. There is usually a symbol “*” to mark a female student in the name lists of colleges or universities. That means, even in the official documents, women are marked. On the contrary, men absolutely have not any excessive marked signs. Take the following name lists as examples:
(43) A name list of government documents (abridged from the name list of alternate member for 17th Central Committee Members of Communist Party of China) 王新宪、焉荣竹、王学军、王建平、刘石泉、杜宇新、李玉妹(女)、张连珍(女)、 余欣荣、张成寅、张国清、张裔炯、陈存根、张轩(女)、陈政高、武吉海(苗族)、项 俊波、舒晓琴(女)、詹文龙、潘云鹤、刀林荫(女，傣族)、王荣、汤涛、李纪恒、宋 爱荣(女)、张杰、陈左宁(女)、竺延风、骆琳、铁凝(女)、褚益民、蔡英挺、邢元敏、 李鸿忠、陈川平、梅克保、曹清、焦焕成、雷春美(女，畲族)、翟虎渠、丁一平、闵 维方、郭树清、王侠(女)、陈元、陈德铭、姜建清、郭声琨、董万才、蔡振华、王明 方、沈素琍(女)、张岱梨(女)、陈全国、乌兰(女，蒙古族)、付志方、夏宝龙、王安 顺、吴显国、张瑞敏、赵勇、栗战书、车俊、蒋洁敏、王晓初、刘玉浦、王三运、殷 一璀(女)、楼继伟、刘振亚、贾廷安 (44) A students’ name list (abridged from the name list of Jiangsu Polytechnic)
Table 4 A students’ name list with “*” to mark the female
Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Student ID Number 20050201 20050202 20050203 20050204 20050205 20050206 20050207 20050208 20050209 20050210 20050211 20050212 20050213 20050214
Name 林燕* 徐光美* 陈晓楠* 张杰 郑峰 金城磊 任新华 蔡鹏 苗文文* 刘宁 陈玉成 王国东 陈洋* 温佩佩*
22.214.171.124 Less Formal Discourse 126.96.36.199.1 Magazines
The magazines are one of society’s mouthpieces, and generally reflect society’s dominant values and beliefs. In Chinese magazines, women are modeled from men’s point of view, because most editors are men. People appreciate a woman only if she well performs the responsibilities of wife and mother. She should try her best to be a man’s wife, make her beautiful in his eyes, charm him, please him and her whole attention should focus on her mate. Women traditionally are associated with the home chores, such as raising children and keeping the house, whereas men are the main breadwinners and participate in the more respectable public occasions. Women have a lower social status than men have and at the same time, women had less opportunity to education. Hence, men have more right and opportunities to invent and change language, which naturally reflects men’s interest. Besides, even in the magazines for women, such as 《女友》 (Lady Friend), 《都市 丽人》 (City Beauty), 《瑞丽》 (Rayli), women’s physical appearances are put excessive attention. Women asked questions reserved only for them, most on hairstyle, clothing, and emotion. Consequently, readers transfer their attentions to women’s looks, clothes and other superficial things. However, when describing a successful man, they seldom care about what kind of hairstyle he has or whether he is well-dressed. This embodies the sexist attitude: women are useless for anything, except for dressing up themselves and pleasing men. 188.8.131.52.2 TV Programs The manifestations of linguistic sexism in Chinese TV programs can be analysed from two aspects. Firstly, the image of women as homemaker has been largely exaggerated. In TV programs, females act much more often in domestic roles, while males dominate the sales and management professional categories. Furthermore, even when women play in the role of managers and other high-ranked professions, they more often perform domestic tasks. Secondly, the function of women as mothers is also overemphasized. If a woman is too successful to measure against the stereotype, she will get the appraisement of “as good as man”. However, if she cannot look after her children because of work, she will be surely scolded. On the contrary, if a man cares for his children, he will obtain praise and honor;
and it is acceptable if he does not because of work. Children learn from TV programs that men are strong, brave, and dare to risk and women are useless. The sayings go like “男人 是一家之主”, “男主外, 女主内”, “女人应该在家相夫教子” (A man is the authority in a family, and a women should raise children and serve husband at home) can be found in nearly all of the soap operas. Such sayings show the sexist attitude in the society and can have tremendous impact on people’s thought, even reinforce this kind of attitude. 184.108.40.206.3 Internet It is reported that women netizens occupy 42.8 percent in the total number of 384,000,000 netizens of China by the year of 2009. The statistic shows that women are playing an important role in the Internet. Whereas, sexism regretfully still exists in everywhere on the Internet. Traditional men-centered belief that men are senior, superior, major to women are still deeply rooted in people’s minds, so there inevitably exist linguistic sexism more or less in the Internet. Therefore, deeply digging into it, the manifestations of sexism can be found. Most of the websites exaggerate the importance of women’s beauty and neglect women’s social value. For example, the columns belong to women in the website of 新浪 (Sina.com) are 服饰(clothes), 美容(hair or face dressing)，减肥(losing weight)，八卦 (gossip), 情感(emotion) and the columns in the website of 网易(163.com) are 时尚 (fashion), 搭配(clothes collocation), 美容(hair or face dressing), 减肥(losing weight)， 情 爱 (emotion), 亲 子 (bringing up babies), 内 衣 (underwear), 星 座 (constellation). The columns and the choices of the words tell two clues: one is that women only cares about their looks and gossip; and another is that what women can only do is to look after the babies at home. It intensifies the traditional role-stereotype and makes another piece of information invisible that women work and create wealth for the society. Moreover, on the Internet, some websites often design several questions for the interaction activities involved readers. The designed questions for women are always as the following ones: 1) which parts of your body are you not satisfied with? Moreover, the tips of our website ever have done any help for you? 2) What kind of recipes do you want to see in our website? 3) Why do you think women should lose weight? And for the last questions, there are optional answers for the reader: A. for beauty; B. for boyfriend or
husband; C. for wearing wonderful dress; D. for keeping young and energetic; E. for health. Among the 4,300 votes from readers, 60 percent of women choose A and B (Chen Yang, 2007). Although a majority of women choose the first two answers, the website in fact mislead the readers with choices of words. The website casually plants the belief “女为悦 己 者 容 ” (women dress up to please men they love) into the readers’ mind. The manifestation is obscure, but it makes women’s pursuits, characteristics and identities invisible. 220.127.116.11 Informal Discourse 18.104.22.168.1 Daily-using Language 1) Addressing Titles The addressing terms of women have the connotation of discrimination. Before 1949, the social expectation for women in China was like this: females should be obedient to father at home, to husband after they get married, and to son if the husband dies. Usually, women’s names remain unchanged all their lives. Because most of women didn’t go to school, it was unnecessary for them to have school names, not to say alternative names, so some terms according to their row in family as “大丫头” (eldest daughter) and “二丫头” (younger daughter) are employed. When a woman got married, she had to adopt her husband’s surname as part of her name and thus became “贾太太” （Mrs. Jia）, “王夫人” (Mrs. Wang), sometimes “王门宋氏”or “王宋氏” if her husband’s surname was “王”. The husbands called their wives: “贱内”, “糟糠”, “内人”, “内子”, “内助”, “贱妾” and in countryside, “老婆”, “婆娘”, “家里的”, “屋里的”, “做饭的”, “烧火的”, “孩子他娘” and so on. Meanwhile, “奴家”, “贱妾”, “卑妾” were all used for women to call themselves. Even today, “内人” is still a formal term used by some men when introducing their wife to guests. All the addressing terms show that women were in fact men’s private property in ancient China. The husbands usually put their wives in inner rooms and kept them from the outside world. After liberation in 1949, women still lose their own surnames after marriage and take that of their husbands. A women is often addressed as “王嫂” (sister Wang), “王婶” (aunt Wang) if her husband’s surname is “ 王 ”, and more formally, she will probably be addressed as “赵太太”or “赵夫人” if her husband’s surname is “赵”. These addressing
titles still distinguish women by their marital status. 2) Slangs The discrimination against women can be found in Chinese slang, too. Many slangs with abusive or sexual overtones are used for women. The most obvious manifestation, perhaps as English slangs, is in the usage of foods, flowers and animals to describe women. For example, women are frequently referred to as food, such as “鱼” (fish), “蜜” (honey), “蛋糕” (pieces of cake), “糖” (sugar), “桃子” (peach), etc.. The phrase “秀色可 餐” is just to describe a women’s beauty as delicious food. Take “peach” for example. It is an endearing metaphor for a luscious, attractive girl or woman, usually called “蜜桃女孩”. Terms that are originally neutral or affectionate, eventually acquire negative connotations as their meanings focus on women related to sexual objects. By contrast, there appears to be little food to refer to men. Besides, the usage of flowers for describing women has a long tradition. Since the old times, the knowledgeable men, such as poets, often compared women to kinds of flowers, e.g. “桃花” (peach blossom) and “李子花” (plum blossom), as in “面若桃李” (means a women is as beautiful as peach blossom and plum blossom). Other flowers are also used to describe women, such as “莲花” (lotus flower, means virginal women), “红玫瑰” (red rose, means beautiful, passionate women), “白玫瑰” (white rose, means quiet, graceful women), and “含羞草” (touch-me-not /mimosa, means sensitive, shy women). There are so many examples of flowers, and the sexism belief is proved from another angel. Flowers are beautiful, but fragile and temporary, which symbols women’s beauty. Animal imagery is one example where the images of women seem considerably less positive than those for men. Women can be referred to by animal names which are undesirable, such as “蛇” (snake) and “狐狸” (fox). Some of them, such as “猫” (cat) and “鸡” (chicken) are frequently used to refer to women. In Chinese legendaries and old stories about evils, most of the beautiful women are modeled as evil images that were either a snake or a fox, and they mostly came from the evil world and tried to delude men. People called them “蛇妖” and “狐狸精”, as in 《白蛇传》 (Legend of the White Snake) and 《聊斋志异》(Strange Tales of a Lonely Studio). The phrases with “蛇” and “狐狸”are all used to describe women and have negative meanings with no exception, for example, “蛇
蝎心肠”(means a women is very vicious), “骚狐狸”(refers to a women who intentionally delude other women’s husbands). It is a good example to prove the discrimination that men hold against women, especially beautiful women. Women images are distorted as evils that always bring disasters. Next, take chicken for example. In Chinese slangs, “鸡” and “野 鸡” refer to prostitutes. 22.214.171.124.2 Proverbs and Idioms In Chinese proverbs and idioms, women are tended to be describe as weak, talkative, jealous, stupid, and paying excessive attention to physical beauty. Besides, many female terms have strong sexual implications. These can be seen from the following examples. 1) Women are troublemakers and an incarnation of evil, for example: (45) 牝鸡司晨, 惟家之索 (The household whose hen crows at dawn is destined for misfortune.) (46) 唯女子与小人难养 (Women and petty men are the only ones to be hard to deal with.) (47) 红颜祸水 (Women are a curse.) 2) Women are garrulous and obsessed with trivial things by nature, for example: (48) 两个婆娘一面锣, 三个妇女一台戏 (Two women make a gong, three women make a stage) 3) Grown-up girls are useless for parents, for example: (49) 嫁出去的女儿泼出去的水 (A daughter married is like water spilled.) (50) 嫁鸡随鸡, 嫁狗随狗 ( A woman follows her husband regardless of his lot.) (51) 女大不中留 (A grown girl can’t be kept at home.) 4) Women are slow-witted, for example: (52) 女人头发长，见识短 (Long hair, short wit.) (53) 女子无才便是德 (For women, lack of literary talent is a virtue.) This brief description of the proverbs and idioms represents “tip of the iceberg” of linguistic sexism. 126.96.36.199.3 Cursing Words In Chinese, abusive terms directed at women are quite common. From Chiang Kai-shek’s “娘希匹” to Zhang Zuolin’s “妈拉巴子”, people have their own self-coined
cursing terms and most are aimed at women. Even “他妈的” is mentioned as country scolds of China by Lu Xun. Such terms as “妈的”, “他娘的”, “狗娘养的”(son of a bitch), etc, are not seldom heard in male’s casual talks or quarrels. In fact, these terms are so frequently used that they have become pet phrases in daily speech of many people. The rude or abusive term “他妈的” is adopted so casually and so frequently that it seems to be an indispensable term in their speech. Indeed, these verbal abuses directed against mothers occur so frequently in colloquial Chinese on casual occasions that they often pass unnoticed.
4.3 Similarities and Differences of the Representations in English and Chinese
The similarities in language phenomenon reflect the universal aspect of cultures and languages. Meanwhile, each language is unique; its practices differ from others in some aspects.
Every culture in the world sorts people at birth into two groups based on biological distinctions, so the social practices are inevitably divided according to the basic gender division. In English and Chinese, it is men’s characteristics and activities, rather than women’s that are taken as the norm for linguistic practices, which make women invisible and secondary in both language and society. There is some universality in representation of linguistic sexism between English and Chinese. Of course, not every aspect is same, but common experiences will lead to some common features. 188.8.131.52 Sexually Stigmatized Vocabulary for Women The asymmetry of sex in the English and Chinese vocabulary shows pejorative words referring to women, especially related with sexual activities are much more than those referring to men. Stanley (1977) finds 220 terms referring to a sexually promiscuous woman while 20 referring to men in the Collegiate Thesaurus. For example, the word “prostitute” has 25 synonyms, such as “wanton”, “doxy”, “harlot” and so on, while the male word “gallant” whose synonym has only six, such as “Don Juan”. And in 《简明汉语 义类辞典》(A Dictionary of Concise Meaning of Chinese, 1987), there are seven terms for
describing sexually promiscuous woman: 荡妇, 淫妇, 骚货, 妖精, 狐狸精, 破鞋, 贱货, three for men: 淫棍, 贪花贼, 采花大盗 and eight for either men or women: 色鬼, 色迷, 色狼, 色情狂, 酒色之徒, 渔色之徒, 急色儿, 登徒子. Under the vocabulary entry of “ 男人 ”(man), there collect 29 terms in all, and only one term “ 仆 ”(servant) means self-abasement but with no connotation of derogatory sense; whereas under the entry of “女人” (woman), there are 52 terms and at least 27 of them show the contempt and insult against women, for example: 女流(之辈), 妇道(人家), 娘们儿, 贱人, 祸水, 泼妇, 悍 妇, 雌老虎, 三姑六婆, 丫头, 奴, 妾, 婢. 184.108.40.206 Marked Feminine Professional Terms Both in English and Chinese, most of the masculine professional terms are usually unmarked, while the feminine ones are marked. A female noun is added to the front of other nouns as a feminine mark. For example, if a man takes the job of doctor or judge, he is referred to as a “doctor” (医生) or “judge” (法官). In contrast, if a woman takes the job, she is referred to as a “woman doctor” (女医生) or “woman judge” (女法官). A quite few number of professions, such as dressmaker, nurse, secretary and milliner, are related to women. When they are used to refer to men, we add man/male to form a compound word, for example, “man nurse”, “male secretary” in English and “男护士”, “男秘书” in Chinese. We can see the high status professions monopolized by men while it seems that women can only do service work or low social work. 220.127.116.11 Male-female Word Order Males are so important, so dominant and so powerful that they always occupy initial places in phrases. That’s why there are male-initial phrases in both English and Chinese, such as: father and mother (父母), husband and wife (夫妻), son and daughter (儿女). 18.104.22.168 Semantic Derogation of Women Many paired words for the two sexes seem to be semantic equivalents. In fact, those words for women often have negative connotations. Moreover, foods, plants and animals are often used to refer to women, usually with derogative meanings, while seldom to refer to men. And we can also find counterparts in English and Chinese, such as “bitch”(母狗) referring to prostitutes, “cat”(猫) referring to malicious women, and “cow” (母牛) referring to laze women. All these descriptions show
that women are in a passive position. 22.214.171.124 Loss of Women’s Surnames In English, the wife takes the husband’s surname after marriage and is called “Mrs. King” if her husband’s surname is “King”. And in Chinese, the wife is referred to as “李太 太(李夫人)” if her husband’s surname is “李”. This implies unfairly that it is more important for a woman than for a man to show their marital status. 126.96.36.199 Submissive Female in Public Media In modern times, public media of both English and Chinese are reinforcing the traditional image of women: taking care of husband and children. In films, TV series, and advertisements, women are mostly housewives. Moreover, actresses are appraised highly to play such gentle roles. In contrast, men mainly play roles in science, politics, business and leadership. All these encourage women to adapt themselves to suit the roles requirements imposed on them by the patriarchal system.
English and Chinese belong to different classifications and language families: English is grouped into inflected language while Chinese is grouped on to isolating language; English belongs to Indo-European language family while Chinese belongs to Sino-Tibetan language family. Hence, there surely exist some differences in representations of linguistic sexism in the two languages. 188.8.131.52 English Suffixes vs. Chinese Characters There exist differences in the word formation between English and Chinese. The English writing system is expressed by an alphabet of 26 letters, and its smallest meaning unit is morpheme. In contrast, the Chinese writing system is expressed by the ideographic scripts that consist of pictographs, pictophonetic characters and other kinds of characters. In English, inflections are often used to indicate the case, number, person, and tense and so on. For example, the suffixes –ess, -ette, -trix, are used to constitute and mark feminine nouns, such as “actress”, “usherette” and “executrix”. In Chinese, a character itself can reveal the lower status of women. For example, the connotative meaning of “女” is embodied in its original bone inscription: a modest woman squatting down with hands crossed in front of her body. Moreover, many words containing the meaning element or
radical “女” are used to mark the female, such as “妈”(mother), or to debase the female, such as “妓” (prostitute); but the character “男” is not used as a meaning element or radical to form a character. The absence of a specific masculine radical in the Chinese writing system results in the linguistic asymmetry. 184.108.40.206 Non-corresponding Items Between English and Chinese 220.127.116.11.1 English Generic Noun “Man/Men” and Man-linked Terms In English, generic man/men and man-linked terms are widely used, therefore, reinforcing the superiority of the male. However, in Chinese, there is no generic masculine term referring to the whole human being. 18.104.22.168.2 Chinese Gender Marks In Chinese, females are marked in the name lists of official documents or of students. In contrast, names are usually not marked in English, since males and females can be conferred from the spellings of names. 22.214.171.124.3 English Semantic Collocation In English, sometimes the same term has drastically different, often derogatory, connotations for describing a woman than for describing a man. For example, provided with no further information about the subject of the sentences, the sentence “He is a professional.” means that he is a doctor, a lawyer, or a member of the other respectable professions; whereas the sentence “She is a professional.” means that she is a prostitute. However, the manifestation of linguistic sexism has no obvious evidence in Chinese. Besides, linguistic sexism is greatly reflected in English semantic narrowing, broadening and degradation, while there are quite a few of the same items in Chinese.
4.4 Causes of Linguistic Sexism in English and Chinese
Each society has a unique cultural framework and a unique language. There are not two identical cultures in the world, and there are not two languages that are the same in every way. However, most of them have undergone the evolution process from the matrilineal society to the patriarchal society, and have succeeded the conventions and customs of the patriarchal society, which lead to the formation of linguistic sexism. In this chapter, the causes of linguistic sexism in English and Chinese will be discussed from the aspects of cultural background, social division of labor and psychological localization.
4.4.1 Cultural Background
126.96.36.199 Man-dominated Ideology and Religion The ideology that assumes “women are inferior to men” or “women are second sex” is not only restricted to Christianity and other western philosophies, but also is also highly valued by other religions in the east, such as Mohammedans, Buddhists and Hindus. In view of women’s roles in traditional religious societies, it can be easily concluded that the major religions in the world all define women as an inferior category related to evil. The structure of Christianity is patriarchal and hierarchical, in which men are decision-makers and hold positions of power and prestige. With the authority and powerful impact in western countries, Christianity helps a lot to set and consolidate the inferior position of women. Holy Bible, the most famous masterpiece of Christianity, is actually a book of men. Almost all the important images in it are men. For example, the most powerful one is God, who is called as “Father”. Another example is Jesus Christ, God’s son, the man chosen to save the human being. In addition, there are many other outstanding examples. Moses was the man who led the Israelites out of Egypt. Abraham was the ancestor of the Jews. The thirteen disciples of Jesus were also men. Men are thought to be responsible for carrying on the family line. In contrast, daughters are incapable of inheriting the heritage. Moreover, few of them could have their names recorded. The recorded ones can be divided into three types. First, some are famous for their sons, such as Mary—the mother of Jesus Christ, and Elizabeth—the mother of John. Second, some are mentioned because of their evil deeds, such as Herodias and her daughter, who were responsible for John the Baptist’s death. Third, some are so lucky that they can be noted for their own achievements. However, they are confined at home, doing chores and giving birth to children. In the old days, the basic purpose of marriage was to multiply and have children. Thus, women became the tool of procreation. Although the Christian ethic stresses individualism, success, and competition in the workplace, it encourages women to submerge their wills to piety, purity, and submissiveness. Under the religious ethics, men are dominant, and women are degraded. Men are the centre of social activities, whereas women are ignored. Women are powerless and
subordinate to men, so their ability and expertise are not appreciated. Throughout history, women suffer from social injustice. The Confucianism in China, established by Confucius and his students, is a system of philosophy and ethics and is regarded as the Old Testament of the Chinese Bible by some scholars. In a broad sense, Confucianism greatly influences the Chinese people and it is important as a religion. Confucius’ teachings have been greatly reflected in Chinese philosophy. The feudal ethics have a profound impact on Chinese philosophy and language. If we say that the Christian teaches a man to be a good man because it teaches man to believe in God, we can also say that the Confucianism teaches a man to be a good citizen and a dutiful son because it teaches man to absolutely obey the Heaven and the Emperor, and filial piety to parents ( 忠 于 国 家 , 孝 于 父 母 ). The three basic duties in Confucianism—三纲 (the San Kang) are: 君为臣纲 (absolute loyalty to the Emperor), 父为子纲 (filial piety to the father) and 夫为妻纲 (absolute submission of the wife to the husband). In the teaching of Confucianism, there are also a list of rules to abide by in dealing with the important relationships in person’s life—“五常” (Five Human Relationships). They actually stipulate the order of relationships from the superior to the inferior. They can be explained as follows: in a country, the emperor, the most qualified man who is chosen by Heaven to be the ruler, can select qualified men to be his ministers. He, supposed to follow the will of Heaven, can set a unified standard of right and wrong and his ministers must follow it (君臣有义); and in the family, the basic unit of society, the father should rule the son (父子有亲); the elder brother should rule the younger brothers (长幼有序); and the husband should rule the wife (夫妇有别); between friends, they should keep their promises (朋友有信). From the teaching that specifically deals with the family, it can be seen that how Confucianism have contributed to establish the Chinese family pattern and women’s lowly status. Women are inferior to men and ruled by men as a member of a family or as a wife in Chinese traditional religious moral, but it has not ended yet. Obedience is the rule for all the women as an individual person. In the old days, women lived in a state of dependence. The moral requirements of Chinese women can be summed up as 三从 (three obedience).
The three obedience are: first, as a child, she must submit herself to her father (在家从父). Even if she had to suffer from the fearful pain of foot binding, she cannot resist. Second, after her marriage has been arranged by her parents and she has entered her husband’s household, she must comply with her husband (出嫁从夫). Third, after her husband died, she must listen to her son as a widow (夫死从子). 188.8.131.52 Demonized Images of Women In English culture, women are regarded as a source of danger and a cause of disasters. It can be found in many mythologies and stories that the female is depicted as the source of sin and evil. In Greek mythology, it is Pandora, the first woman, who does not listen to the gods and opens her box, finally brings evil and misfortune to the world. Even the goddesses are described as jealous and tricky as mortal women. Athena, (the goddess of wisdom, the practical arts, and warfare), Hera (the sister and wife of Zeus) and Aphrodite (the goddess of love and beauty) indirectly cause the Troy War, because all of them want to get Eris’ (the goddess of discord) golden apple on which “To the most beautiful goddess” is written. Aphrodite bribes the judge, Paris with a promise to give him the most beautiful women Helen and get the apple. Athena and Hera stir up the Troy War because of hatred. According to the Bible, in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the apple tree and saw that they were naked because Eve tempted Adam to do so. Then they were punished and put into the world of mortals for atonement. That is the reason why the mortals are born with sins. In Chinese culture, there also exist the similar derogatory means against women, which intentionally distort and demonize women’s images. Confucius himself juxtaposed “女子”(women) and “小人” (petty people) and judged both as being hard to deal with. In the long history of China, there are many emperors and political leaders recorded as indulged in women and finally ruined the country. 褒姒, the favorite women of an emperor in Zhou dynasty, the emperor made fun of all his seigneurs in order to please her, called “烽火戏诸侯”. Then, because of his cheating, no one came to help him when the enemies invaded. Another similar story is about 陈圆圆, who was the wife of 吴三桂, a
general guarded the barrier of 山海关 in Ming dynasty. After 李自成 succeeded in revolt against Ming, he surrendered to another branch of armed forces who established the Qing dynasty later. It was said that 吴三桂 surrendered for 陈圆圆(冲冠一怒为红颜), because 李自成 kidnapped her. In fact, the stories are all composed by men, if by women, the stories may be different. The distorted women images are just the origin of the pejorative belief that women would bring disasters (红颜祸水). People believe women lead to defeat, corruption and ruin. With a long tradition that has invented Pandora, 褒姒 and other demonized women, it was not strange that why the deep-rooted discrimination against women is still alive and continues to affect people’s lives. Although women have officially become citizens in a majority of countries all over the world in the present century, it is undeniable that women are still discriminated in society and language.
4.4.2 Social Division of Labor
No matter in English speaking countries or in China, people take the division of labor for granted: man is in charge outside the house, and woman manages the domestic chores (男主外, 女主内). Men often occupy more senior positions than women do: men are hunters and warriors while women are housekeepers; men are scientists while women are lab technicians; men are executives while women are secretaries. Men are the symbol of power, status and dominance. They are rulers of the outside world, and they earn money to support the family. In contrast, women are always taken as the small and weak group, and their domains of activity are limited, especially to the house. Women raise their children, serve their husbands, manage household affairs, and never take part in social activities. The way in which work is divided between men and women in society practically leads to the result that women have less control over economic resources than men do. Moreover, the division of labor forms unequal social status between men and women, and further contributes to differences of their in their separate community. Throughout human history, it cannot be denied that the great leaders, intellectual giants, experts and other outstanding people in almost every field all over the world are almost men. However, this does not follow that men are born capable, clever, and intellectually superior; instead, it is because in a male-dominated society, women have
fewer opportunities to discover and develop their potentials, and they are restricted to their own home. In modern society, more and more women go outside to have a job. However, most of them are in lower positions. Worse still, they have dualistic duties: they take full-time or part-time jobs, at the same time, they are housewives, and they should take care of their children and their husbands. As a result, they are judged by dualistic standards. If they do something wrong at work, they will be naturally regarded as incompetent; if they neglect their families, they will be scolded because of breach of basic duty. Whereas, if they take good care of their families, they receive no praise; if they succeed in their work, they will be blamed for neglecting their domestic duties. Undoubtedly, the social division of labor in the male-dominated society keeps women in a disadvantageous position.
4.4.3 Psychological Localization
How do people develop psychological localization of themselves as women or men? It seems that biological factors put people into two categories. In fact, becoming men and women is a question that goes beyond biology. Socialization influences the psychological localization of men and women. It begins at birth to shape people to behave in appropriate ways according to the social stipulations. Much of people’s behavior is the result of socialization. Children learn appropriate behavior from their parents, other people and their own experiences. They are unconsciously shaped through toys, role-playing games, pictures, books and other resources. Children absorb the sex-biased views in their first readers and textbooks, and then develop their psychological localization of gender according to the prototypes. A prototype is a generalized and relatively fixed image of a person or persons, and the image is formed by isolating or exaggerating certain features to characterize a category. Although the prototypes may reflect elements of truth, these are usually too general or too simple to be inaccurate in describing every individual. The portrayal of sex prototypes has been found in all forms of discourse and language domains, e.g., education, religion, medium and legislation. Although sex prototypes refer to both men and women, women seem to suffer more with these images. It is not surprising in patriarchal cultures that many stereotyped images for men express positive values. The
prototypes of women, which overstress men’s requirements and ignore women’s own will are discriminatory and have negative influence to people’s psychological localization. Proverbs, idioms and other formulaic expressions transferred from one generation to another, can best reflect the framework of a culture and language. Further, they are a source of sex prototypes. No matter in English and in Chinese, they depict women as weak, jealous, stupid, being concerned with physical beauty, even being the root of evils.
Development of Linguistic Sexism in English and Chinese
Languages are in change and development, so are the manifestations of linguistic sexism. With the development of society, undergone the Feminist Movement, some sexist usages of language have been ameliorated. Although the characteristics of ameliorations between English and Chinese differ more or less, they will change towards the same direction in the future.
5.1 Ameliorations of Linguistic Sexism in the Past
Linguistic sexism is any item of language which trivializes, demeans or makes women invisible through its structure or use,. Women’s inferior and subordinate positions are reinforced through the usage of language under different discourses. With the development of the society, women’s social roles have changed into increasingly important. More and more linguists, sociologists and scientists put their attention to reform languages to achieve linguistic equality. Among them, there are some different voices. Some linguists propose to eliminate sexist practices of language by making amendments to current language system, while others offer some substantial suggestions, for example, semantic alternatives and neologisms. Other radical linguists suggest to create an entirely new language or to invent some women-oriented discourse. During the past years, with their efforts, linguistic sexism has been ameliorated a lot in English and Chinese. The thesis will describe the ameliorations of English and Chinese under the three kinds of discourses, with one representative for each discourse: dictionaries for the formal discourse, magazines for the less formal discourse and daily-using language for the informal discourse.
It must be acknowledged that linguistic sexism has undergone a great change because of feminist theories which has forced it to become more indirect or subtle, and which perhaps has driven overt representations to underground (Mill, 1994). In the early 1960s, it
was considered unnecessary to draw attention to linguistic sexism. Now, many publishers and editors have instituted guidelines on language use, because the government and many institutions have passed laws and guidelines against sex discrimination, and have put forward with a range of alternatives to replace the sexist usages of language. Some publications have given statements to encourage people to adopt non-sexist language (also known as gender-neutral language, sex-fair language, gender-free language or bias-free language). Because of this, it is less common for overt linguistic sexism to appear within texts that are published from an institutional context. In dictionaries, the generic masculine nouns have been changed obviously in English. Feminists regard the masculine terms as being ambiguous and discriminative against women, because they can be interpreted as being masculine-specific or being neutral to refer to both sexes. Gender neutralization, regarded as the major solution to linguistic sexism, is used in dictionaries to avoid linguistic sexism through reducing or abandon gender-specific expressions. For example, some publishers and public bodies have tried to replace the generic “man” with “human being”, “person”, “people”, “the human race” and “the human species” (Graham, 1975; Stanley, 1977). Under the entry of “sexism” in the Merriam Webster Dictionary of English Usage (1994:840), several sentences used to explain the solutions to linguistic sexism go as follows: The combining form –one was a failure; compounds like chairone simply looked too mysterious to be useful. The form –person has had more success. Although loudly decried by some scholars, such combinations such as spokesperson, chairperson, and anchorperson have received wide enough currency to gain at least dictionary recognition. Through the explanations, it can be found that gender neutralization is wildly used in dictionaries to replace the generic masculine nouns. In the twentieth century, some Chinese characters originally formed by radial “女” were transformed to other radicals, e.g. “淫” for “婬” (licentious), “惰” for “嫷” (lazy). In 1952, a letter was published in 《中国语文》 (Chinese Language), in which 3 Chinese characters with radical “女” were suggested to abolish: 媿, 嬲, 嬾 and 16 to reconstruct: 奸 , 妒 , 嫉 , 媮 , 妇 , 娼 , 媸 , 娸 , 奴 , 娱 , 媚 , 妨 , 嫌 , 姿 , 妄 , 婪 . Among these
characters, 娸 can’t be found and 媿, 嬾, 媮 have been transferred into 愧, 懒, 偷 in 《新华字典》(New Chinese Dictionary) of 1991. Besides, the generic masculine pronouns have also been changed in both of English and Chinese. For generic pronouns, gender specification is used for improve them. The way is widely used in the dictionaries, for example: 1) Replace he with he or she (him or her; his or her) or he/she (him/her, his/her), and in Chinese 他(她), 她(他), 他或她, 他(或她), 他/她. This replacement indicates women are included in the antecedent of the pronouns. (54) Each student will do better if he or she has a voice in the decision. (55) 每个学校被抽到的学生领到一份问卷，回家由他(她)的父母填写。 2) The gender-neutral third person pronoun they and its variants and in Chinese 他们 ( 她们 ), 他们和她们 , 他们 ( 她们 ) 的 , 他 ( 她 ) 们的 are used when the subject is an indefinite pronoun. (56) When everyone contributes their own ideas, the discussion will be a success (57) 在 1985 年，他们(她们)的家庭在北京居住。 (The English-Chinese Dictionary, 2008)
In magazines, linguistic improvements happened, too. The English Language Teaching Journal (ELT) who has readers all over the world has given the rules for manuscripts: using “he”, “she”, “her” when the referent is definite, otherwise, using “he or she”, “they”, “them” or the plural forms of nouns, as “students” and “teachers”. Besides, sexist professional terms have been ameliorated. Job advertisements with sexist expressions in magazines are forbidden. The United States Department of Labor in 1977 revised about 3000 of its approximately 30,000 titles for occupations. Terms such as busboy, foreman, salesman, boom man and bobbin man were replaced with dining room attendant, supervisor, salesperson, log-sorter, and bobbin winder tender. The Britain governments emanated some legislative measures to purify the language. The linguistic exclusion of women in job titles and job advertisements as well as the sexist practices in job interviewing are unlawful. Laws regulate the use of job titles and occupational terms to eliminate sex discrimination, and women have more opportunities to be employed.
Moreover, the sex prototypes of women have been avoided. First, the manifestation of women’s life are not only restricted to the traditional fields, such as cooking, child-raising, nursing, but has been expanded to all the fields where women are actually involved. Second, women’s independent identity and social roles have been affirmed in a positive and active way. Women’s virtues, such as carefulness and patience, and women’s abilities have been affirmed. The outstanding females often see their pictures on the covers of the famous magazines all over the world. Compared with the frequent linguistic changes in the west, linguistic changes in China are far from satisfactory. Job advertisements with sexist expressions are still common. Some job advertisements make it clear that only men are eligible to apply for the position or post.
5.1.3 Daily-using Language
In English-speaking countries, with the efforts of linguists and feminists, the linguistic sexism in daily-using language has ameliorated, especially in the uses of titles for women. People have adopted the title “Ms” to de-emphasize the indication of marital status as a definitive feature of a woman’s identity and personality. The new term “Ms”, which is a combination of “Miss” and “Mrs.”, was coined in the 1960s and functions as an exact counterpart of the term “Mr.”. There are two reasons that women should make use of it as a title (Spender, 1980). One reason is that the pronunciation of “Ms” cannot be determined by its spelling. If we were to find unacceptable all those words which do not reveal their pronunciation from their spelling we would have to dispense with a sizeable number and begin with “Mr.”. The other reason is that “Ms” is of no assistance in the maintenance of the patriarchal order and it can even be problematic for males. Besides, women have tried some ways to show their own identity in name. For centuries, in English-speaking countries, women lose her identity both linguistically and in reality. Most recently, many women are changing their names instead of taking the name of either their father or their husband. They retain their maiden names after marriage and they adopt maiden names and husbands’ names to form compound or hyphenated names. Some women also take their mothers’ first names as the new family names, such as “Janet Robyn” and “Elizabeth Sarah” (Ashley, 1989). Names like “Judy Chicago” assume the
name of her home city. In addition, others take names that come purely from their imagination, as the creation of the new last name “Kramarae” as a means of expressing dissatisfaction with the already existing Kramer (Kramarae, 1981). In China, since Ming Dynasty, some progressive scholars have done many efforts in their works to improve women’s social and linguistic position, such as Gui Youguang’s 《贞女论》(A Treatise on Chaste Women) and Li Ruzhen’s 《镜花缘》(Mirror Flower Love). In the May Fourth Movement period, coupled with the development of modernity and its seminal political structure, a feminist movement came into being, and actively re-orientated women in relation to kinship structures and other aspects of ideology. As part of the endeavors of the New Culture Movement, a reform was conducted in writing, a major shaper of the Confucian sexist ideology. Around this time, “妇女” and “女性”, both of which meant “women” but in modern and Western hue, emerged. For the first time in Chinese history, men and women in love, husbands and wives, began to treat each other equally and address each other “爱人” (the one I love). “伊”, which was originally for “he” or “she”, was specified for the female as opposed to “他” (he). This in turn led to the ensuing initiation of “她” (she) in 1918 (Xiong Wenhua, 1997).
5.2 Forecast of Linguistic Sexism in English and Chinese
Compared with the amelioration and development in English, it can be found that Chinese moves much slower. For example, there are few non-sexist alternatives in Chinese, whereas there are many non-sexist alternatives in English, because most of the Chinese characters are simplified from the original ones and there are only a few neologisms. Even if there are neologistical ones, they need to be deposited for a long time, otherwise they cannot be accepted. However, English changes quickly, sometimes radically. With respect to the reform of the language, some radical feminists in western countries suggested to create a new language system out of the patriarchal language system in order to arouse people’s awareness about current language usages and practices between women and men. The word “herstory” is created to disregards English morphological rules because “his” in “history” does not have free morpheme status, nor does it have etymological connection
with the masculine pronoun “his”. Others disrupt spelling conventions. For example, they spell “woman” and “women” as “womyn” or “womon” and “wimmin” to obliterate its graphemic link with “man”. Other feminists try to create a language that can express reality from a women’s perspective. Elgin (1984) created the language “Láadan” for the specific purpose of expressing the perceptions of women. These experiments do have contributed to the enhancement of people’s awareness of sexism in English, but they will lead to invisibility of men, which is a new type of sexism, so they should not be encouraged. Language is something that society creates and can be seen as a mirror of society. If women and men are still unequal in society then just changing the language will not really grant equality or make things much better. Language is not in and of itself a sexist thing. The users of a language grant it practical meaning depending on how they view society and according to their values and beliefs. This indicates that the main reason behind linguistic sexism is not the language form itself, but our thought that comes from social experience. Although more and more women have taken part in all fields of work and have proved that they are capable of doing what men can do. However, there is one fact that cannot be neglected: the highest positions of all the fields are still taken by men. For example, until now, most of the government leaders, officials and congressional representatives are men in America and Britain, only one woman prime minister in Britain; so are in China, and there has never been any woman candidate for chairperson. This reveals that the change should begin with people’s ideology. In other words, eliminating linguistic sexism must happen simultaneously with social change. With increasing opportunities for women in education and in employment, they are not only restricted in the traditional fields of domestic chores and raising children and they can be free in choosing careers and realizing their ambitions. As women continue to take more leadership positions as entrepreneurs, CEOs, and leaders of other professions, the ideology that the male is superior to the female will not exist in the society, then either the language will be effective or it will be unnecessary because there will be no difference in people’s mind.
Feminists’ researches of linguistic sexism since 1960s have aroused people’s concern about the inequality between women and men. However, the sexist ideology has existed for long, moreover, one of the characteristics of linguistic sexism is that it sometimes disguises itself and makes people take it for granted. Therefore, linguists engaged in the study of linguistic sexism are not satisfied with merely pointing out the phenomenon of linguistic sexism. They have expressed a desire to change the patriarchal and sexist nature of language and have been engaged in the struggle against linguistic sexism through various types of language reforms and language planning. Before trying to change the phenomenon, people should have a full awareness of its concrete representations, causes and development, which is the ultimate purpose of this thesis. Above all, in light of the theories of feminism and linguistics, the thesis reveals its representations in English and Chinese respectively at the following linguistic levels: lexical level, syntactic level, semantic level and discourse level. In view of the scarcity of the study in practical discourses, the thesis puts the discourse into three kinds: formal discourse, less formal discourse, and informal discourse, and presents the phenomenon of linguistic sexism in detail. Through a comprehensive study of its representations, it can be found that linguistic sexism does exist in every level in the domain of language in a way that cannot be easily found. The thesis has also made a comparison of its representations in English and Chinese. They are similar in most aspects: they both have unequal naming conventions, semantic asymmetries between terms for men and women, and negative stereotyped descriptions of women and so on. At the same time, the representations of linguistic sexism in English and Chinese also differ in some aspects. They are not parallel in every level, for example, linguistic sexism exists in English suffixes, and in Chinese characters. Because they belong to different classifications and language families, each of them has its own diversity. After presenting the phenomenon, the thesis analyses the causes of linguistic sexism in English and Chinese from three aspects. First, in the culture of both English and Chinese,
women are subordinate to men. Second, in the English-speaking countries and Chinese-speaking countries, the social division of labor is like that: men are the symbol of power, status and dominance, and women are the opposite. Third, in the west and the east, there is the same psychological localization: men are talented, aggressive, and powerful and can master over other things, while women are incompetent, emotional, and talkative and tend to pay more attention to physical beauty. Finally, the thesis has explored the traces of development of linguistic sexism, with one representative for each discourse: dictionaries for the formal discourse, magazines for the less formal discourse, and daily-using language for the informal discourse. It has been ameliorated a lot in English and Chinese. For example, semantic alternatives, neologism and many other reforms have been practiced. Although they have moved and will certainly move forward, the trend of development is that English changes quickly, sometimes radical, whereas Chinese moves much slower. That must be due to their characteristics: English is active and Chinese is conservative and needs more precipitation. As the witness and participator of human culture, language itself is not sexist, but the people. Therefore, the elimination of linguistic sexism lies in the change of ideology. Only by changing the people’s minds, and triggering the change of social structure, until one day when women and men hold equal status can language equality be truly achieved. Therefore, linguistic, ideological and social reforms should be taken synchronously to eliminate linguistic sexism. The key to ameliorate the phenomenon of linguistic sexism and eliminate it is to make people aware it, know it and abandon it. It is the goal that the thesis endeavors to reach. However, the thesis has some limitations. On one hand, the analysis of representations of linguistic sexism under practical discourses is not abundant. Some of the examples cannot be found because it is far away from now. On the other hand, there are too many newspapers and magazines, so the thesis has to choose some of the authoritative and famous ones. The author believes that more linguists and experts will be involved in the meaningful research and they can go further.
 Ashley, R. N. 1989. What’s in a Name? [M]. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.  Bloomfield, L. 1933. Language [M]. New York: Henry Holt.  Bolinger, D. L. 1968. Aspects of Language [M]. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.  Bolinger, D. L. 1980. Language: the Loaded Weapon [M]. London: Longman Group Ltd.  Cameron, D. 1985. Feminism and Linguistic Theory [M]. Basingstoke, Hampshire: The Macmillan Press Ltd.  Chambers, J. K. 1990. Sociolinguistic Theory: Linguistic Variation and Its Social Significance [M]. Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell.  Coates, J. 1993. Women, Men and Language [M]. London: Longman Group Ltd.  Croll, E. 1983. Chinese Women since Mao [M]. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.  Daly, M. 1978. Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism [M]. Boston: Beacon Press.  Dennis, A. 1983. The Book of Slang [M]. New York: St. Martin’s Press.  Elaine C. 1982. The Social Mirror [M]. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.  Elgin, S. H. 1984. Native Tongue [M]. New York: St. Martin’s Press.  Eschholz, P. A. et al. 1974. Language Awareness [M]. New York: St. Martin’s Press.  Fairclough, N. 1989. Language and Power [M]. London: Longman Group Ltd .  Farris, C. S. 1988. Gender and grammar in Chinese: with implications for language universals [J]. Modern China, 14: 277-308.  Fishman, J. A. 1968. Readings in the Sociology of Language [M]. The Hague: Mouton.  Flexner, S. B. 1975. Preface to the dictionary of American slang [A]. In H. Wentworth & S. B. Flexner (eds.) Dictionary of American Slang [Z]. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell.  Goffman, E. 1977. Gender advertisements [J]. Studies in the Anthropology of Visual Communication, 3: 55-60.  Gottcent, J. H. 1986. Holly Bible [M]. Boston: Twayne Publishers.  Graddol, D. & J. Swann. 1989. Gender Voices [M]. Southampton: The Camelot Press Ltd.  Graham, A. 1975. The Making of a Non-Sexist Dictionary [A]. In B. Thorne & N. Henley (eds.) Language and Sex: Difference and Dominance [C]. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.  Halliday, M. A. K. 1978. Language as a Social Semiotic [M]. London: Edward Arnold.
 Henley, N. & C. Kramarae. 1991. Gender, power and miscommunication [A]. In N. Coupland et al. (eds.) Miscommunication and Problematic Talk [C]. London: Sage.  Holmes, J. 1992. Women’s talk in public contexts [J]. Discourse and Society, 3: 131-150.  Hornby, A. S. & S. Wehmeier. 1995. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English [Z]. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  Hu, Zhuanglin, 2001. Linguistics. A Course Book (2nd ed.) [M]. Beijing: Beijing University Press.  Hudson, R.A. 2000. Sociolinguistics [M]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  Jespersen, O. 1923. The Growth & Structure of the English Language [M]. New York: Norton.  Johnson S. & U. H. Mainhof. 1997. Language and Masculinity [M]. Oxford: Blackwell.  Joos, M. 1968. The isolation of styles [A]. In J. Fishman et al. (eds.) Readings in the Sociology of Language [C]. The Hague: Mouton.  Kay, M. W. 1976. Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus [Z]. Springfield, MA: Merriam Co.  Katz, J. J. & J. A. Fodor. 1963. The Structure of a semantic theory [A]. In J. F. Rosenberg & C. Travis (eds.) Language [C]. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.  Kipfred, B. A. & R. L. Chapman. 1980. Roget’s Thesaurus [Z]. New York: Harper & Row Publishers Inc.  Klerk, V. 1990. Slang: a male domain? [J] Sex Roles, 22: 589-606.  Kramarae, C. 1981. Women and Men Speaking [M]. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.  Labov, W. 1966. The Social Stratification of English in New York City [M]. Washington D.C.: Center for Applied Linguistics.  Lakoff, R. 1973. Language and woman’s place [J]. Language in Society, 2: 45-79.  Lakoff, R. 1975. Language and Women’s Place [M]. New York: Harper & Row Publisher.  Leech, G. 1981. Semantics: The Study of Meaning (2nd ed.) [M]. Harmondsworth: Penguin.  Levinson, S. 1983. Pragmatics [M]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  MacKay, D. G. 1980. Psychology, prescriptive grammar and the pronoun problem [J]. American Psychologist, 35: 444-449.  MacKay, D. & D. Fulkson. 1979. On the comprehension and production of pronouns [J]. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 18(6):661-673.  McConnell, A. R. 1996. Women as men and people: effects and gender-marked language [J]. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22: 1004-1013.
 Mill, S. 1994. Gendering the Reader [M]. Maryland: Harvester Hempstead Publishers.  Miller, C. & K. Swift. 1977. Words and Women [M]. New York: Anchor Press.  Murray. J. A .H. 1989. Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.) [Z]. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  Nilsen, G. 1982. Sexism in English: A Feminist View [M]. New York: St. Martin’s Press.  Pauwels, A. 1998. Women Changing Language [M]. London: Longman Group Ltd.  Pearsall, J. 1998. New Oxford Dictionary of English [Z]. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  Penelope, J. 1990. Speaking Freely [M]. New York: Pergamon Press.  Poynton, C. 1985. Language and Gender: Making the Difference [M]. Australia: Deakin University Press.  Procter, P. 1978. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English [Z]. Harlow & London: Longman Group Ltd.  Romain, S. 1994. Language in Society [M]. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  Schulz, M. 1975. The semantic derogation of women [A]. In B. Thorne et al. (eds.) Language and Sex: Difference and Dominance [C]. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.  Simpson, P. 1993. Language, Ideology and Point of View [M]. London: Routledge.  Sinclair, J. M. 1987. Collins COBUILD English Language Dictionary [Z]. London: Collins.  Smith, M. P. 1985. Language, the Sexes and Society [M]. Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell.  Song, Hongbo. 2002. Sexism in Language and Its Reform: A Comparative Study [D]. Wuhan: Central China Normal University.  Spender, D. 1980. Man Made Language [M]. London: Routledge and Paul.  Stanley, J. P. 1977. Paradigmatic woman: the prostitute [A]. In L. S. David et al. (eds.) Papers on Language Variation [C]. Birmingham, Alabama: University of Alabama Press.  Trudgill, P. 1983a. On Dialects: Social and Geographical Perspectives [M]. New York: New York University Press.  Trudgill, P. 1983b. Sociolinguistics: An Introduction to Language and Society [M]. Harmondsworth: Penguin.  Webster, M. 1983. Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary [Z]. Springfield, Mass: Merriam-Webster Inc.  Webster, M. 1994. Merriam Webster Dictionary of English Usage [Z]. Springfield: Merriam-Webster Inc.
 Webster, M. 1996. Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language [Z]. New York: Random House.  Whorf, B. L. 1956. Language, Thought and Reality [M]. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.  Woolf, V. 1929. A Room of One’s Own [M]. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.  白解红. 2000. 性别语言文化与语用研究[M]. 长沙: 湖南教育出版社.  曹务堂. 1997. 语言学概论[M]. 济南: 山东教育出版社.  晁继周等. 1996. 现代汉语词典[Z]. 北京: 商务印书馆.  常敬宇. 1995. 汉语词汇与文化[M]. 北京: 北京大学出版社.  陈桦. 2005. 词汇中性别歧视之探索[D]. 成都: 西南师范大学.  陈建民. 1999. 语言文化社会新探[M]. 上海: 上海外语教育出版社.  陈阳. 2007. 谈网络中的性别歧视[J]. 妇女研究论丛, 4: 55-57.  陈原. 2000. 社会语言学[M]. 北京: 商务印书馆.  戴炜栋. 1983. 言语性别差异分析综述[J]. 外国语, 6: 34-37.  杜文礼. 1993. 初探英语中的性别歧视[J]. 山东外语教学, 2: 15-17.  耿殿磊. 1999. 女性“文字狱”—英汉语中的性别歧视探微[J]. 华中师范大学学报(人文社会 科学版), 2: 98-103.  何其芳. 1987. 何其芳散文选集[M]. 北京: 百花文艺出版社.  何自然. 1979. 从西方的妇女解放运动谈到英语句子的一致关系问题[J]. 外语教学与研究, 3: 73-75.  李春侠. 2005. 英语中的性别歧视语分析[D]. 上海: 上海外国语大学.  李从庆. 2004. 透析语言中的性别歧视[D]. 武汉: 武汉理工大学.  林杏光, 白菲. 1987. 简明汉语义类词典[Z]. 北京: 商务印书馆.  林艳花. 2004. 论英语语言中的性别歧视现象[D]. 上海: 上海外国语大学.  凌原等. 2002. 现代汉语词典[Z]. 北京: 外语教学与研究出版社.  吕叔湘. 1992. 他或她[A]. 梁实秋等. 未晚斋语文漫谈[C]. 北京: 语文出版社.  苗兴伟. 1995. 从标记理论看英语中的性别歧视[J]. 四川外语学院学报, 3: 24-27.  潘建. 2001. 英汉语言性别歧视的比较研究[J]. 外语与外语教学, 3: 14-16.  秦苏芳. 2006. 探析英语和汉语中的性别歧视现象[D]. 上海: 上海外国语大学.  人民教育出版社小学语文室. 1998. 九年义务教育六年制小学教科书语文第六册[M]. 北京: 人民教育出版社.
 施玉惠 . 1984. 从社会语言学观点探讨中文男女两性语言的差异 [J]. 语言教学与研究 , 4: 207-225.  孙汝建. 1997. 性别与语言[M]. 南京: 江苏教育出版社.  孙云鹤. 1986. 高级汉语字典[Z]. 福州: 福建人民出版社.  王德春等. 1995. 社会心理语言学[M]. 上海: 上海外语教育出版社.  王维新等. 1991. 新华字典[Z]. 北京: 商务印书馆.  文孟君. 1998. 骂詈语[M]. 北京: 新华出版社.  吴岱容. 2004. 英汉语言性别歧视的比较研究[D]. 上海: 上海外国语大学.  熊文华. 1997. 英汉对比概论[M]. 北京: 北京语言文化大学出版社.  许琳. 2004. 英语语言中的性别歧视现象探析[D]. 西安: 西安电子科技大学.  许慎 . 2004. 说文解字 [M]. 上海: 中华书局 .  杨文武. 2005. 大众传媒中的性别攻视[D]. 武汉: 华中师范大学.  杨永林. 2004. 社会语言学研究: 功能·称谓·性别篇[M]. 上海: 上海外语教育出版社.  英汉大词典编委会. 2008. 英汉大词典[Z]. 北京: 商务印书馆.  游汝杰, 邹家彦. 2004. 社会语言学教程[M]. 上海: 复旦大学出版社.  张荣建. 2000.英语命名方式与《圣经》中的女性命名性别歧视[J]. 福建外语, 4: 8-12.  张彦君. 2000. 英语中妇女语言的特点与性歧视[J]. 宁夏大学学报, 1: 91-93.  郑春苗. 1994.中西文化比较研究[M]. 北京: 北京语言学院出版社.  祝畹瑾. 1992. 社会语言学概论[M]. 长沙: 湖南教育出版社.  朱文俊. 2000. 人类语言学论题研究[M]. 北京: 语言文化大学出版社.
Firstly, I want to show my gratitude to my dear supervisor, Professor Sun Yanmei, who has given me great encouragement, valuable guidance and constructive advice on my thesis. The thesis would not have been possible without her constant help. Her profound knowledge and deep insight have helped me to see the value of my research. She patiently and carefully considered about my rough construction of the thesis and helped me to reformulate and restructure it. She asked me to work hard and persist to be serious to research, exactly as what she did. Secondly, I would like to say thanks to many other teachers and my classmates from University of Jinan. They have also given me lots of help and constructions during the period of the completion of my thesis as well as in my MA program. Finally yet importantly, my sincere thanks also give to my parents for their understanding, support and concern, without which the thesis could not have been completed.
 英语交际中的语言性别差异[J]， 高校外语教学与研究，2008 年第 4 辑，80-82 页，第一作者。  简析英语中的性别歧视语言[J]，济南大学学报社会科学版（研究生创新论坛专 辑） ，2009 年第 19 卷，29-31 页，第一作者。