Investigating Gender- based Speech Variations in the Discourse of Pakistan Air Force Officers

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Shagufta Gul, Chairperson, Haleema Akber, Dr. Zainab Qazi, Zubaida Shakir


Gender based language difference in workplace have been subject to extensive research in the western context over the last three decades. However, little attention has been paid to Pakistani context in particular. This study, therefore, explores the impact of gender on the speech of male and female officers of the Pakistan Air Force (P.A.F). Due to restrictions in access, data was collected through questionnaires and interviews as it was not possible to carry out the initial plan of observations and recordings. Seven aspects that have been widely researched by linguists in the field of language and gender were tested. Results showed high emotionality ratio in females as compared to males.  Males were found to be more confident in their speech and were shown to exhibit more sense of humor as compared to females. Other aspects, such as assertiveness and indirectness in speech, indicated varied results. Regarding the claim that the language of males and females differs based on gender, most females disagreed while males agreed. Similar results were demonstrated about the assumption that gender-based language differences lead to misunderstandings in the workplace.

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