International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

The Influence of Gender Differences in Proscribed Language Use in Taiwan
Paul C. Talley, Tu Hui-ling

This study examines the influence of gender differences in the use of proscribed/taboo language in Taiwan. Considerable debate exists over the folk-linguistic perceptions that claim women’s language differs markedly in act, frequency, reason and content from that of men’s (e.g. de Klerk, 1992, 1997; and Gordon, 1993). Atotal of 200 respondents (100 Male/100 Female university students) completed a questionnaire designed to check their proscribed / taboo language usage. Significant differences were noted in male and female frequency and use of proscribed/taboo language, and were characterized as follows: (1) perception of a double standard of usage by both males / females; (2) differing expectations regarding the incidence of such language by both males / females; (3) differing reasons attributed for the usage and/or avoidance of such language; and, (4) distinct contrast in the language chosen in bi-/multi-lingual contexts for proscribed/ taboo language by males and females.

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