Gender Fluency

An examination into the nature of discourse between young men and women in Japan, and its effect on conversation ability

Features

Our work is divided into feature sections that you can browse easily. Click on any of the photos below to see what we offer.

Why

What are the general patterns of dysfluency between males and females when they interact? Gains in fluency are hard to come by, but more so when one has little to no awareness of how poor one’s fluency actually is and how to make real progress in it. We found that there may be fewer differences in typical male and female speech and disfluency, leading us to think that the issue is not so much “gender difference” as much as what Cameron (1992) notes, “the difference gender makes”. In short, while the differences do exist, it is important to account for more complex patterns in gendered speech between strangers, acquaintances, close associates, and even in group settings to examine how issues such as balance, cooperativeness, solidarity might change, and how fluency and dysfluency are affected. As the saying goes, ‘it is a man’s world’ and for women to better convey their meaning and intentions and more easily move up the career ladder, they should be aware of how these issues in their communication.

How

Understanding one’s fluency comes about best through examining videotapes and transcription of one’s speech. Fluency is measured by production, so each person should ask if they are cooperatively contributing their stories and opinions, and asking a variety of questions, not only for their own interest but to build an interesting interaction. Too many conversations tend to be a series of questions with little or no follow-up, and are often unbalanced, with one speaker doing most of the talking. Look at your speaking rate and intonation. Dysfluency manifests in your pausing and how long you can talk before pausing. Too many micropauses become quite annoying. Word fragments, the use of the native tongue, abandoned sentences, uncontrolled rephrasing, or unintended repetition are more issues you should be aware of. Also, nonverbal issues can be a factor in how you come across. Examining one’s facial expressions and eye contact can greatly influence the quality and outcome of an interaction.

Please see our conversations archive

These are the videotaped sessions that form the basis of our research data. Feel free to peruse, use or discuss our research data.
The Conversations

Keiko and Takuya

Session Adv 2 : Female 1 to Female 2 Statistics Number of Words: 660...

Mizuki and Ryuta

Session Adv 2 : Female 1 to Female 2 Statistics Number of Words: 660...

Yuika and Shunichiro

This engaging discussion between Shunichiro and Yuika shows the problem of minimal responses: while Shunichiro has a MLR of 10.0, Yuika’s is only 4.0. But in looking over the transcript, one can see that it is rare for both participants to express more than one sentence….

Yuika and Koki

This discussion between Koki and Yuika is a rather interesting case of how minimal responses function in a discourse. Because of her few and short responses, Yuika’s MLRs are an average 7.1 and her speaking rate…

Koki and Yumi

This discussion between Koki and Yumi shows a relatively high speaking rate (95.0) for Yumi and (107.7) for Koki. Acoustic dysfluency is a bit high, with 51.5 seconds of total silence, or 8.6% silence. Lexical dysfluency is low, as is syntactic dysfluency though Koki’s repetition is a bit high…

Shunichiro and Yumi

This discussion between Shunichiro and Yumi represents a more balanced discussion in which both participants contribute almost an equal amount of information although, again, the females provide fewer number of words than the males: with 177 words from Yumi to Shunichiro’s 285. The speaking rate for both participants is almost the same and is fairly average for this level of proficiency 86.3/88.8; acoustic dysfluency is rather high, 14.7%% silence with Shunichiro having 49.3 seconds of silence compared to Yumi’s 19, though cross-talk pausing is minimal. Lexical dysfluency is only notable due to the use of L1 and to some mispronounced word on the part of Shunichiro. Syntactic dsyfluency is a bit high insofar that MLRs are short with there being lots of repetition and meaningless syllables on the part of Shunichiro. As with the other transcripts, minimal responses are too common and both participants could make the interaction far more interesting by providing more insights, stories, opinions, and examples.

Shohei and Megumi

This gendered discussion is interesting insofar that both participants really seemed to enjoy talking, so the percentage of silence is low, around 3.5%. Cross-talk pausing is not evident. There was a high rate of speaking rate for Shohei 122.7 as compared to Megumi’s, which was somewhat low 58.9. One issue that is apparent from the transcript is the very high level of minimal responses, so longer replies could help to improve the overall fluency of both participants.

Kohei and Megumi

This discussion is rather fluid, with low cross-talk pausing 4.3 seconds, with a total amount of silence being 32.5 seconds. Lexical dysfluency is very limited to just some L1 usage, though syntactic dysfluency is high on one variable, repetition (Megumi: 25 occurrences). MLRs are fairly the same length for both participants, 8.1 for Kohei and 10.5 for Megumi. Kohei’s speaking rate is relatively high 101.0 but Megumi’s could be much higher 57.7 There are some minimal responses.

Yuki and Nozomi

This discussion is marked by a rather high level of cross-talk pausing 28.6, and a high level of silence 120.8 seconds / 19.1% which is too high. Minimal responses are evident with both participants. Yuki did, however, when he did speak, have a high speaking rate (155.3) as compared to Nozomi’s 55.5, but this speaking rate has relatively little meaning due to the frequency of the minimal responses. Again as seen in other discussions, Yuki dominated the interaction with 482 words compared to Nozomi’s 149

Keiko and Ryuta

Session Adv 2 : Female 1 to Female 2 Statistics Number of Words: 660...

Keiko and Takuya

Session Adv 2 : Female 1 to Female 2 Statistics Number of Words: 660...

Mizuki and Ryuta

Session Adv 2 : Female 1 to Female 2 Statistics Number of Words: 660...

Yuika and Shunichiro

This engaging discussion between Shunichiro and Yuika shows the problem of minimal responses: while Shunichiro has a MLR of 10.0, Yuika’s is only 4.0. But in looking over the transcript, one can see that it is rare for both participants to express more than one sentence….

Yuika and Koki

This discussion between Koki and Yuika is a rather interesting case of how minimal responses function in a discourse. Because of her few and short responses, Yuika’s MLRs are an average 7.1 and her speaking rate…

Koki and Yumi

This discussion between Koki and Yumi shows a relatively high speaking rate (95.0) for Yumi and (107.7) for Koki. Acoustic dysfluency is a bit high, with 51.5 seconds of total silence, or 8.6% silence. Lexical dysfluency is low, as is syntactic dysfluency though Koki’s repetition is a bit high…

Pin It on Pinterest