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How Gender Shapes the World$
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Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723752

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723752.001.0001

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The rituals of gender

The rituals of gender

(p.166) 10 The rituals of gender
How Gender Shapes the World

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on ‘female’ and ‘male’ speech genres and cults, and their representations in linguistic practices. Social Genders in traditional societies tend to be associated with different domains, and different speech styles. This is where inequality between the male and the female Social Genders comes to light. Special languages and language registers can come to be used in male-only rituals. A whole set of terms may be forbidden to women. Women may have to exercise special caution and use deferential forms to address their relatives through marriage. Women are often seen as keepers and promoters of prestigious linguistic norms, and of traditional language. Or they can be viewed as a dangerous ‘other’ who lead the society in the wrong direction.

Keywords:   Linguistic Gender, Social Gender, Natural Gender, rituals, initiation, speech practices, language change, language obsolescence

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