Turn-Taking Behavior and Gender Differences In Speech: A Case Study Of A Group Of Educated Sudanese

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Date
2015-05-26
Authors
Naglaa Mohammed, Abdelrahim
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UOFK
Abstract
This study focuses on the conversational differences between males and females in a group of educated Sudanese speakers. The main purpose is to investigate conversational conventions such as ‘topic\\\\\\\' and \\\\\\\'topic development’, ‘hedges’, ‘minimal responses’, ‘turn-taking mechanisms’, ‘interruptions’ and ‘overlaps’, in educated Sudanese Arabic conversations. The reason why Arabic is selected is that students and educated class people are not acknowledged with the conversational techniques in Western societies, generally and English societies, specifically. The total number of the subjects who have undergone the experiments in this study were twenty-two. They constitute four groupes of speakers, three groups were students in their first year of an M.A. (English) course of study, the fourth group are educated Sudanese speakers from a Sudanese T.V. channel. The researcher has reached to the following findings: 1- Females used ‘question-asking’ more in their conversation which shows that they faced a problem in developing and discussing topics. 2- Males took the part of ‘decision-makers’ as they succeeded in choosing, developing and discussing their topics. 3- In ‘mixed-sex conversation’ of the M.A. students, where a married couple have participated in the experiments, the husband infringed his wife’s right to speak, and he dominated the whole conversation. 4- In the presence of males, females remained silent and shy. In contrast, men dominated the conversation. 5- Males tended to use ‘you know’ more frequently than women, when it expresses uncertainty, but less frequently when it expresses confidence. 6- In ‘mixed-conversation’, from a Sudanese T.V. channel, the women used ‘minimal responses’ more than men and in appropriate moments. 7- In the ‘mixed-sex group’, males interrupted and overlapped females more. Females did overlap each other about 110 times and interrupt each other about 128 times. The number of overlaps and interrupts in males conversation is the same (i.e. 200 times). The study concludes that gender differences and conversational conventions that were in the present study have influenced speech and interaction greatly. It emphasizes that turn-taking mechanisms vary from culture to culture and from language to language
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