Gender Determines Linguistic Features of One’s Speech: Hedging and Interruptions in Male/Female Dialogues in One-Act Plays by male and female playwrights

  • Sohail Jan Department of English & Applied Linguistics, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, KPK, Pakistan.
  • Mujib Rahman Department of English, Qurtuba University of Science & Information Technology, Hayatabad, Peshawar, KPK, Pakistan.
Keywords: Language and Gender, Stereotypes, Hedges, Interruptions, Characters


This study is based on certain gender-specific linguistic features which several researchers like Lakoff, Holmes, Coats, and West & Zimmerman have pointed out in their studies. As writers belong to one or the other gender, they must be influenced by their own gender-specific way of speaking, that must, in turn, influence the kind of language they choose for their characters in an interaction. To support our hypothesis, we selected three one-act plays each by a male and a female writer. The research analysed the dialogues of the characters. The study established that the male playwright could present a realistic portrayal of his male characters but was not able to present his female characters’ speech realistically. Similarly, the female writer could portray her female characters to speak like women in real life but was not able to portray her male characters to speak like men in real life.