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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The studies of language and gender are generally undertaken in two different perspectives: the linguistic representations of gender differences and the gender effects in language use and change. This chapter pursues the latter because it brings in important Chinese issues. An interesting issue in Chinese linguistics is whether gender is a universal factor imbedded in the social context of language. In addressing the issue, through the case of Kundulun speech community investigation, this chapter analyzes the formation process of the speech community and shows how the gender constraint is integrated into the sociolinguistic constraint patterns of a speech community. Meanwhile, through the case of nvguoyin ‘feminine Mandarin pronunciation’, it illustrates the relevance of the speech community in the social constructional interpretation of gender identities. The conclusion is that the projection of gender identity through language use is directly governed by sociolinguistic conventions of a speech community.

Keywords: gender identity, speech community, Kundulun, Nvguoyin, gender constraint

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