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    • Language and Women’s Place in Modern Linguistics

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  • In 1975, Robin Lakoff first published Language and Women’s Place – a work that has greatly influenced the fields of linguistics and gender studies. In this, Lakoff utilizes introspective methods to examine gendered differences in everyday language and describes a number of systematic differences between males and females. Although many of Lakoff’s ideas have been widely accepted, the subjective aspect of her findings has been heavily criticized. This paper investigates the role of Language and Women’s Place in modern gender and language studies and seeks to answer three main questions: if there really are gendered differences in language, if introspection is a valid method at examining these potential differences, and if Lakoff’s broader social commentary is correct. To answer these questions, this paper considers more recent approaches, including data-driven studies and the theories of Communities of Practice, Performativity, and Difference. The paper finds that there are genuine differences in language use between men and women and that Lakoff’s introspection holds an important place in modern studies; however, it also finds that the social implications Lakoff proposes cannot be established without further investigation.

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