Scholarly article on topic 'Gender Studies in English, Turkish and Georgian Languages in Terms of Grammatical, Semantic and Pragmatic Levels'

Gender Studies in English, Turkish and Georgian Languages in Terms of Grammatical, Semantic and Pragmatic Levels Academic research paper on "Languages and literature"

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Abstract of research paper on Languages and literature, author of scientific article — Ramazan Göçtü, Muzaffer Kır

Abstract The research work deals with the study of Gender and Linguistics. In the present study, gender in English, Georgian and Turkish Languages are being investigated. Our aim is to study gender similarities and differences in different types of languages English, Georgian and Turkish. That's why we observed different levels of the language. These are grammatical level, semantic level and pragmatic level. The materials we use is colloquial language and some literal units are used as well. Gender Studies focuses on both genders and their relations to each other. At the same time, it takes into account how gender intersects with social, ethnic and cultural differences. These multiple interdependencies allow Gender Studies to produce more precise knowledge. In linguistics, semantics is the subfield that is devoted to the study of meaning, as inherent at the levels of words, phrases, sentences, and larger units of discourse (referred to as texts). The basic area of study is the meaning of signs, and the study of relations between different linguistic units. A key concern is how meaning attaches to larger chunks of text, possibly as a result of the composition from smaller units of meaning. Pragmatics is the branch of linguistics concerned with language use, and is different from syntax and semantics, which deal with the form and meaning of sentences respectively.

Academic research paper on topic "Gender Studies in English, Turkish and Georgian Languages in Terms of Grammatical, Semantic and Pragmatic Levels"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 158 (2014) 282 - 287

14th International Language, Literature and Stylistics Symposium

Gender studies in English, Turkish and Georgian languages in terms of grammatical, semantic and pragmatic Levels

Ramazan Go£tua*, Muzaffer Kirb

aChaglar Educational Institution, Niko Nikoladze School, Kutaisi,4600 Georgia, rgoctu@gmailcom bInternational Black Sea University,Tbilisi,0131 Georgia, mkir@ibsu.edu.ge

Abstract

The research work deals with the study of Gender and Linguistics. In the present study, gender in English, Georgian and Turkish Languages are being investigated. Our aim is to study gender similarities and differences in different types of languages English, Georgian and Turkish. That's why we observed different levels of the language. These are grammatical level, semantic level and pragmatic level. The materials we use is colloquial language and some literal units are used as well. Gender Studies focuses on both genders and their relations to each other. At the same time, it takes into account how gender intersects with social, ethnic and cultural differences. These multiple interdependencies allow Gender Studies to produce more precise knowledge. In linguistics, semantics is the subfield that is devoted to the study of meaning, as inherent at the levels of words, phrases, sentences, and larger units of discourse (referred to as texts). The basic area of study is the meaning of signs, and the study of relations between different linguistic units. A key concern is how meaning attaches to larger chunks of text, possibly as a result of the composition from smaller units of meaning. Pragmatics is the branch of linguistics concerned with language use, and is different from syntax and semantics, which deal with the form and meaning of sentences respectively.

Key words: gender, semantic, pragmatic, discourse

Introduction

Gender Studies has started long ago early 20th century. But Gender Studies has been commonly known since the 1970s when scholars and writers paid attention to literature and gender. Today linguists pay attention to gender and language and there are some special seminars and conferences on this subject. There are many scholars and theorists whose works are associated with gender studies like Robin Lakoff, J. Coates Gros, Judith E. Tucker, Ventre, Langenfelt, G. Trager. Our aim is to study gender similarities and differences in different types of languages English, Georgian and Turkish. That's why we observed different in grammatical level, semantic level and pragmatic level. The materials we use is colloquial language and some literal units are used as well.The purpose of the present research work is to study language and gender in English, Georgian and Turkish in the following directions:

- The nature of the phenomenon;

- Comparative analysis of gender in English, Georgian and Turkish languages by studying similarities and differences observing their social and linguistic peculiarities.

1. Gender Studies Review of Literature

Gender is an important area of study in many disciplines, such as literary theory, drama studies, film theory, performance theory, contemporary art history, anthropology, sociology, psychology and psychoanalysis (Healey, J. F. 2003). These disciplines sometimes differ in their approaches to how and why they study gender. For instance in anthropology, sociology and psychology, gender is often studied as a practice, whereas in cultural studies representations of gender are more often examined. Gender studies is also a discipline in itself: an interdisciplinary area of study that methods and approaches from a wide range of disciplines. (Philomena, Goldberg, David Theo; Kobayashi, Audrey 2009).

Gender studies has existed since the 1970s. Today it is internationally recognized as an innovative field of study and research. The high social relevance of its research and its epistemological stance has a dynamiting effect on current processes of

Corresponding author. Tel.:+995 593986696. E-mail address: rgoctu@gmail.com

1877-0428 © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Dokuz Eylul University, Faculty of Education. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.12.089

redefinition of research and the Academy. Since then, the implementation of a gender perspective in research and teaching has long become a criterion of scientific excellence, a condition for universities competing internationally.

The development of women's studies in Turkey in academic units at universities in the 1990s owes much to the changes in social and cultural politics in the country which were accelerated in the 1970s and 1980s. In this period, activist women aimed at eliminating the androcentric biases and the unbalanced gender dynamics of epistemology in social sciences (Kandiyoti 1996, 23, Abadan-Unat 1995, 15).

The 1980s mark the initial efforts of mapping histories and preparing translations of feminist research that developed outside Turkey. Women's journals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on issues such as domestic violence, women's rights, and political participation. A group of women established the journal Somut (Concrete) in 1983. (Y. Arat 1995, 80) Several publications followed this initial attempt, including feminist (sic), and the socialist feminist journal Kaktüs (Cactus). The Womens' Solidarity Association was established in 1989. The Women's Library in Istanbul, established in 1991, is the first and only documentation center that houses information on women in many languages.

1.1. Grammatically Gender Differences and Similarities in English, Georgian and Turkish Languages

Gender in the English language has been the focus of two distinct contemporary debates. Mid-twentieth century academics raised questions about whether English rightly may be said to possess grammatical gender. Second wave feminism promoted general minimization of gender reference in language. In some contexts, the two debates interacted in various ways. Every noun belonged to one of three grammatical gender classes (masculine, feminine, or neuter).Within the noun phrase, determiners and adjectives showed gender inflection in agreement with the noun. The third person personal pronouns and Interrogative/relative pronouns were chosen according to grammatical gender.

Gender is no longer an inflectional category in Modern English. A notable exception is that continents, nations, many cities, ships, airplanes, cars, and some organizations are referred to as she and are properly associated with her in the possessive. English is a Germanic language, and gender is determined easily for nouns by noting the article associated with the word. Similarly, foreign words absorbed unchanged into English still carry the gender association of the original language. Old English followed the gender assignments of German for words derived from it.

The relative pronouns who and which are chosen according to the personal or animate (vs. impersonal or inanimate) status of the antecedent. Grammatical gender is a system in the grammar of some languages in which nouns are classified as belonging to a certain gender - often masculine, feminine, or neuter - and other parts of speech connected to the noun, such as adjectives or articles, must agree. For example, in English, nouns with natural gender, such as "boy" or "girl," must agree in grammatical gender with any pronouns used to represent them. Therefore, "She is a nice boy" is ungrammatical in English. Other languages around the world have much more extensive and complex systems of grammatical gender.

Georgian has no grammatical gender; even pronouns are gender-neutral. The language also has no articles. Therefore, for example, "guest", "a guest" and "the guest" are said in the same way. In relative clauses, however, it is possible to establish the meaning of the definite article through use of some particles. Georgian is a post-positional language, meaning that adpositions are placed after (rather than before) the nouns they modify, either as suffixes or as separate words. Many Georgian postpositions correspond to the meanings of prepositions in English. Each postposition requires the modified noun to be in a specific case. (This is similar to prepositions governing specific cases in many Indo-European languages such as German, Latin, Russian, and so on.)

Since Turkish does not have grammatical gender, human nouns and pronouns usually do not indicate whether the person referred to is female or male, e.g. doktor '(female or male) doctor', sekreter ' (female or male) secretary', yolcu '(female or male) traveller, passenger', o 'she, he', gitti 'she went, he went'.

Like all of the Turkic languages, Turkish is agglutinative, that is, grammatical functions are indicated by adding various suffixes to stems. Separate suffixes on nouns indicate both gender and number, but there is no grammatical gender. Nouns are declined in three declensions with six case endings: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, locative, and ablative; number is marked by a plural suffix. Verbs agree with their subjects in case and number, and, as in nouns, separate identifiable suffixes perform these functions. The order of elements in a verb form is: verb stem + tense aspect marker + subject affix. There is no definite article; the number "one" may be used as an indefinite article.

As we observe English is gendered somehow Georgian and Turkish Languages are not gendered. However in English the third person, personal pronouns and Interrogative/relative pronouns were chosen according to grammatical gender.

In Georgian Language 'is (ob)' is used instead of he, she, it. This word can be used for he, she, it. In Turkish we used 'o' equivalent for 'he, she, it.' Though in semantic level there are some similarities and differences in these three languages.

2. Gender Variations on the Semantic Level

2.1. Gender Variations on the Semantic Level (English Language)

To start with a morpheme may have different realizations (morphs) in different contexts. For example, the verb morpheme "do" of English has three quite distinct pronunciations in the words "do", "does" (with suffix "-s"), and "don't" (with "-n't"). Such alternating morphs of a morpheme are called its allomorphs. Other examples are in past tenses of verbs: "I have walked", "I have eaten", "I have drunk": one verb has a regular "-ed" allomorph, one has a less common "-en" allomorph, and one changes the

vowel inside the verb. This last case is a problem for description, because you can't separate the morpheme "drink" from the morpheme for past tense.

The Semitic languages show an extreme of fusion, in that word roots are often represented by fixed consonants, usually three, and their inflection and derivation is done with internal vowel patterns as well as affixes. For example, in Arabic we find kataba "he wrote", yaktubu "he writes", kaatib "writer", kitaab "book", maktab "office". All these form use the consonant cluster KTB. Suppletion is the replacement of a regular form by an unrelated word. In English "go" has the past tense "went", and "be" has various unrelated parts such as "am" and "was".

Look at nouns that denote workers in a given occupation. In some cases (teacher, social-worker) they may seem gender-neutral. Others may have gender-neutral denotation (doctor, lawyer, nurse) but not gender-neutral connotation for all speakers and listeners. Speakers will show this in forms such as "woman doctor" or "male nurse". Listeners may not show it but you can test their expectations by statements or short narratives that allow for contradiction of assumptions (such as a story about a doctor or nurse depicted as the spouse of a man or woman, as appropriate).

You can try it out with this example story. See how many people find it puzzling. A man was driving with his son, when the car was struck by another vehicle. The man was killed instantly, but his son, injured, was rushed to hospital. The surgeon came into the operating theatre, gasped and said: "But this is my son".

Some listeners may not notice anything odd. If they are truthful some may admit to taking a little while to understand the story,

and some may continue to find it puzzling until it is explained. You could vary the noun from "surgeon" to "doctor",

"consultant" or "anaesthetist" and so on, to see if this changes the responses. You could also rework the story thus:

A woman was driving with her son, when the car was struck by another vehicle. The woman was killed instantly, but her son,

injured, was rushed to hospital. The theatre nurse looked at the surgeon, gasped and said: "But this is my son"

Consider forms that differentiate by gender, in adding diminutive (belittling) affixes: actress, stewardess, waitress, majorette,

usherette, and so on.

2.2. Gender Variations on the Semantic Level (Turkish Language)

Turkish is an Ural-Altaic language, having agglutinative word structures with productive in sectional and derivational processes. Most derivational phenomena take place within a word form, but there are certain derivations involving partial or full reduplications that are best considered under the notion of multi-word expressions. Turkish word forms consist of morphemes concatenated to a root morpheme or to other morphemes, much like beads on a string. Except for a very few exceptional cases, the surface realizations of the morphemes are conditioned by various morphophonemic processes such as vowel harmony, vowel and consonant elisions.

Agglutination implies that the vocabulary is built by a wide range of basic suffix combinations. A Turkish word can thus correspond to a single English word, up to phrases of various length, or even to a whole sentence as shown here.

oda 'room'

odam 'my room'

odamda 'in my room'

odamdayim 'I am in my room'

The typical structure of Turkish phrases is head-final. Sentences mostly belong to the subject-object-verb (SOV) kind, but word order is relatively free and discourse-related phrase movements are quite frequent. As a result alignments between Turkish and English are far from being monotonic. Banyolu iki kisilik bir oda istiyorum. [with-bath] [two] [for-people] [a] [room] [I want] 'I'd like a twin room with a bath please.'

Although reordering rules seem hard to describe without using any syntactic information, we believe that morphological segmentation is a first necessary step to take in order to enable machine learning of refined alignments and complex word reordering patterns.

2.3. Gender Variations on the Semantic Level (Georgian Language)

Georgian is an agglutinative language too. There are certain prefixes and suffixes that are joined together in order to build a verb. In some cases, there can be up to 8 different morphemes in one verb at the same time. An example can be ageshenebinat ("you (pl) had built"). The verb can be broken down to parts: a-g-e-Sen-eb-in-a-T. Each morpheme here contributes to the meaning of the verb tense or the person who has performed the verb.

Though in Georgian morph phonology, syncope is a common phenomenon. When a suffix (especially the plural suffix -eb-) is attached to a word which has either of the vowels a or e in the last syllable, this vowel is, in most words, lost.

As we have mentioned before there is no sex differentiation in grammatical categories of Georgian language, neither in verb, nor in noun, or in adjective.

On this level we compared English, Georgian and Turkish Languages due to affixation that makes several nouns gendered. And also we analysed what type of varieties and what kind of similarities and differences are there on this level. English language is gendered in affixation type. Here there is list of gendered words in English.

List of Gendered Word

1) Actress

2) Aviatrix

3) Barmaid

4) Barman

5) Best Man

6) Boatman

7) Businessman

8) Cameraman

9) Chairman -

10) Clergyman

Actor Aviator Bartender Bartender Best Friend Boater

Businessperson Camera Operator Chairperson Member of Clergy

As indicated here, there is a variety of gendered lexical unit which are formed due to affixation and compounding English. First column shows gendered words. And another column displays gendered neutral words.

As we mentioned above English Language is gendered in affixation typed. But in Georgian language it is not like that in this

language it is msaxiobi. It is called with one word.

In Turkish actor is 'oyuncu'. This word can be used for the male and female. In Turkish Language sometimes can be said "erkek oyuncu" which means actor and "bayan oyuncu" which means actress. As we see in this example English Language and Turkish as well as Georgian Languge have differences by means of affixation.

There are two common suffixes to form female gender in "actress' and "heroin" and also there are some words that make the words gendered. When we take into consideration aviatrix and aviator, we can see how English language is gendered. In Georgian it is not gendered. In Georgian 'prinavi' refers to pilot. 'Prinavi kalica'can be said but not 'prinavi katsi' because job of pilot mostly refers to men. In Turkish language it is not like in English. For the aviatrix we say kadm pilot and for the aviator we say erkek pilot. When we look at barmander and barmaid same situation here. In Georgian instead of for these two words mebufete is used. But the word mebufete is originally from Russian language. Recently borrowing terms entered the Georgian Language and it refers to woman and man as well. So in Georgian today you can hear barman very frequently speaking language.

In Turkish there is also same phenomenon. Barmen is for barmender for barmaid 'bayan barmen' is used. Though we may say that expression of sex in this case in English language has more varieties than in Georgian and in Turkish as you see above.

No affixation is seen in Georgian and Turkish while referring to male or female human beings, while in English we observe this phenomenon. Like English, Georgian language and Turkish language have a semantic pattern -women (qali) (bayan) which may be added to the word to make sex differentiation. So in this context we find similarities in these three languages. eqimi qali-bayan doktor - women doctor; gamyidveli qali- satici bayan-saleswomen

In many professions we do not use kali or katsi because these professions suit for men. For example: it is not used katsi hekimi it is used just hekimi. This occurs also in Turkish Language.

We may observe that some borrowings from English frequently occur in Georgian. For example:

_biznesmeni-biznesvumeni or biznesleidi (From businessman-businesswoman, or business lady) but in Tukish this occurs differently like previous examples 'i^adami'is used for the businessman. ' i§ kadmi' can be used for the businesswoman. _stiuardesa (From stewardess; Stewardess is the only word referring to flight attendant in Georgian language, the image of the flight attendant is mostly connected with a woman and probably that is why the language adopted only stewardess and not steward).

3. Gender Variations on Pragmatic Level in English, Georgian and Turkish Languages

Robin Lakoff published an influential account of women's language. This was the book Language and Woman's Place. In a related article, Woman's language, she published a set of basic assumptions about what marks out the language of women. Among these are claims that women:

Hedge: using phrases like "sort of', "kind of', "it seems like", and so on

Use (super)polite forms: "Would you mind...","I'd appreciate it if...", "...if you don't mind".

Use tag questions: "You're going to dinner, aren't you?"

Speak in italics: into national emphasis equal to underlining words - so, very, quite. Use empty adjectives: divine, lovely, adorable, and so on

Use hypercorrect grammar and pronunciation: English prestige grammar and clear enunciation. Use direct quotation: men paraphrase more often.

Have a special lexicon: women use more words for things like colours, men for sports.

Use question intonation in declarative statements: women make declarative statements into questions by raising the pitch of their voice at the end of a statement, expressing uncertainty. For example, "What school do you attend? Eton College?" Use "wh-" imperatives: (such as, "Why don't you open the door?") Speak less frequently

Overuse qualifiers: (for example, "I Think that...") Apologise more: (for instance, "I'm sorry, but I think that...")

Use modal constructions: (such as can, would, should, ought - "Should we turn up the heat?")

Use indirect commands and requests: (for example, "My, isn't it cold in here?" - really a re quest to turn the heat on or close a window)

Same in Turkish and Georgian indirect comments women do not say all things directly. For example ' burasi soguk degilmi?' this is indirect request to turn the heat on.

Use more intensifiers: especially so and very (for instance, "I am so glad you came!")

Lack a sense of humour: women do not tell jokes well and often don't understand the punch line of jokes.

Same in Turkish and Georgian, women are lack a sense of humour. They do not tell well jokes and do not understand all jokes. We can observe above that English, Georgian and Turkish have similarities in these assumptions. We can also say that in Georgian and Turkish languages women use language more politely.

Some of these statements are more amenable to checking, by investigation and observation, than others. It is easy to count the frequency with which tag questions or modal verbs occur. But Lakoff's remark about humour is much harder to quantify some critics might reply that notions of humour differ between men and women.This aspect relates to the notion of the observer's paradox. Introduced the term 'powerless talk'. Powerless talk is characteristic of tentative speech when giving orders, making statements or requests, of tag-questions, i.e. questions attached to a statement like this is good, isn 't it?, and of diminutives such as a small favour etc. Though Lakoff did not present powerless talk as a natural attribute of women's speech it was soon correlated with women's language because women were believed to have, and research found evidence for, an inclination toward more powerless features in their speech. Moreover, the male domination was visible in the sense that men typically made more and longer contributions in public speech, control the topic and interrupt more.

All of us have different styles of communicating with other people. Our style depends on a lot of things: where we're from, how and where we were brought up, our educational background, our age, and it also can depend on our gender. Generally speaking, men and women talk differently although there are varying degrees of masculine and feminine speech characteristics in each of us. But men and women speak in particular ways mostly because those ways are associated with their gender. In communication, speakers always hope to earn the respect from the counterparts. So speakers, according to the circumstance, need to use appropriate strategies to express politeness and obtain the best communicative effect.

To conclude pragmatic level of the language is something that combines language we talk background which the conversations take place. In most cases in all languages situation influences the result of the conversation. It depends again on the social role of women and men either in the society. Children are brought up differently what is not expecting from the boy or what is not expecting from the girl. Men can take any type of new approach to when new words entered the language men very easily catch them but are more catch pronunciations. For instance you can here in Georgia 'f ' and women say fakulteti which is not common in Georgian Language. The result of conversations is always affected by the background, the society norms and who are participants, men or women because women interrupt more than men. However men argue more than women sometimes.

General Conclusions

Observing the phenomenon in all three languages we came to the following conclusion:

• Gender Studies has started long ago early 12th century. But Gender Studies has been commonly known since the 1970s when scholars and writers paid attention to literature and gender. Today women and men pay attention to gender and language and there are some special seminars and conferences about gender and language. There are many scholars and theorists whose works are associated with gender studies like Robin Lakoff, J. Coates Gros, Judith E. Tucker, Ventre, Langenfelt, G. Trager and so on.

• As we observed English is still grammatically gendered, as for Georgian and Turkish Languages, they are not gendered.

• In English the third person, personal pronouns and interrogative/relative pronouns were chosen according to grammatical gender. In Georgian Language 'is(ob)' is used instead of he, she, it. This word can be used for he, she, it.

• In Turkish we used 'o' equivalent for 'he, she, it.'

• There are some similarities and differences in these three languages semantically.

• Observing all these three languages depend on social role in society and similarities are much more vivid on pragmatic level.

• In most cases in all languages situation influences the result of the conversation. It depends again on the social role of women and men in the society.

References

Arat, Y.(2000), 1980'ler TurkiyesVnde kadm hareketi. LiberalKemalizmin radikaluzantisi, pp.(435-446) Istanbul: Alfa Baski

Healey, J. F. (2003). "Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Class: the Sociology of Group Conflict and Change". (4th ed.). California: Pine Forge Press.

Kandiyoti, D. (1996). Contemporary feminist scholarship and Middle Eastern studies, in D. Kandiyoti (ed.), Gendering the Middle East. Emerging Perspectives,

New York, 1-27, NJ: Syracuse University Press. Lakoff. R. (1981) Excerpts from Language and Woman's Place. In Vetterling-Braggin (Ed.), Sexist language: A modern philosophical analysis (pp. 60-67). NY: Littlefield, Adams.

Lakoff. R. (2004) Language and Woman's Place: Text and Commentaries (Studies in Language and Gender, 3) Oxford : OUP Philomena, E., Goldberg, D. T., & Kobayashi, A. (Eds.). (2009). A Companion to Gender Studies.NY: Wiley-Blackwell.