An Analysis of Female Language Features in Jane Eyre毕业论文
1. Introduction 1
2. Demonstration 2
2.1 Language and Women 2
2.2 Linguistic features of female language 3
2.3 Classification of characteristic 4
2.3.1 Vocabulary 5
2.3.2 Syntactic structures 6
2.3.3 Pronunciations and Tones 7
3. Discussion on linguistic features in Jane Eyre 7
3.1 Physical Factor 7
3.2 Psychological Factor 8
3.3 Social Factor 8
3.4 Status and Women 9
4. Conclusion 10
Works Cited 11
An Analysis of Female Language Features in Jane Eyre
Women, as a group in the society, have their own characteristics and styles in terms of verbal communication. The formation of these characteristics not only has its physiological and psychological causes, but also because of different social and economic status and different technical knowledge. In addition, inferiority caused by the traditional thoughts and gender inequality which is inveterate. The language develops with the development of society. With the rapid development of modern society, the changes of gender differences in language are also increasing. Female thinking and thought has been constantly changing. The changes of female language just reflect the social features of language from a point of view.
As an enduring world masterpiece, Jane Eyre is welcomed by the people all over the world, and had been praised generally. The language features of Jane Eyre become very popular among the majority of young readers. It said “Different people have different ideas about Hamlet.” Many experts made different interpretation. They all have their own unique insights to help people have more profound understanding of this classic.
Jane Eyre used the beautiful and refined language to depict an independent and forceful heroine pursuing freedom and love. During the creation of the hero, the author used a large number of the language which is romantic and full of feminine features to make the whole novel very poetic and make the novel full of sensibility and sense. For a variety of subjective and objective reasons, the living conditions of the governess cannot make them survive in a most felicitous manner. Objectively, due to the decreasing social status of women after entering the workplace, labor value of the women had been played down by comparison with revered and respected labor value of the men. Their living conditions had been limited because nobody took female education too seriously and they had tied to the virtue of traditional woman. Subjectively, fear of career and having illusion with love distressed the governess and had been the source of pain.
The characteristics of female language play an important role in the creation of the author. In view of that many domestic and foreign experts have studied Jane Eyre from different aspects, such as analysis on characteristics and feminism. But features of female language haven’t been studied. This paper will draw on the point of view of domestic and foreign scholars, interpreted Jane Eyre from the features of female language in order to a greater depth of understanding of this classic. I have my view of this that is different from the previous research results.
This paper is divided into four parts. Firstly, we introduce the background, significance，and structure of this paper. Secondly, we review the researches of language study at home and abroad. Thirdly, we explore the features of female language and the phenomenon of language sexism in terms of vocabulary, syntactic structures, pronunciations and intonation. Then we take Jane Eyre as the research object, analyzed physical, psychological and social factors of female language. The last is the conclusion, it is pointed out that female social status also needs to be improved constantly, and they should strive for equality with male in daily life and work.
2.1 Language and Women
As we all know in linguistic studies, males and females use the languages differently.
Sex discrimination in English is the phenomenon of longstanding largely due to the different cultural traditions in Western and the social division of labor. This may make people form a fixed thinking of that men are superior to women. Compared to men, women usually use more standard and complimented language, evasive words and euphemism, which is the embodiment of the general sense of inferiority caused by the long-term concept of inequality of women. In the language of women, there is also discrimination of passing judgment on male and female. With the development of society and the improvement of woman’s social status, sexist language is gradually reduced. In addition, people are more willing to use neutral words instead of sexist language, and try to avoid the use of discriminatory words against women.
2.2 Linguistic features of female language
Jane Eyre has been very popular since it was published, and it caused great repercussions in the world. Moreover, Jane Eyre has been warmed welcomed and highly appreciated by Chinese and foreign literary critics, and it has become a hot topic in western literature. Many people regard Jane Eyre as the most influential English romantic novels for many years. But at the same time, some people think that the language of this novel is too vulgar and direct. It also has the factor of anti religious and anti moral ethics. So that some people speculated that the novel was written by a male writer. Until the end of 1849, after Charlotte Bronte’s two sisters- Emily and Ann died off, Charlotte Bronte announced her real identity. Then she was accepted by the public. So many critics begin to explain the works from different angles.
In linguistics, in early 1975, Robin Lakoff （Robin Lakoff，1975）published Language and Woman’s Place, a research on gender differences in language. So she had made a major breakthrough and had been a pioneer in the study of language and gender. She put forward a theory about ten characteristics of female language. Women usually use the accurate color words, emotional adjectives, weakening expletives, Hedges; interrogative sentences, rising intonation; forms of politeness, intensifiers, the lack of a sense of humor and the last one that is the over correct grammar. These aspects contribute to the woman’s unique language style which is obedient, negative and uncertain. But this was deeply rooted among the people and influenced the research direction later. Therefore, it also contributed to the deeper prejudice against women. Specifically, the features of female language basically manifested in the language structure and out of the language structure. Mr. Yao Yaping（Yao，1988）ad pointed out that the speech acts of women include their gender characteristics of strong affection, exquisite style, and so on. Sentimental is an important feature of female language. Most women often express themselves by means of expressing emotions, rather than emphasize the statements of reason. In addition, on the part of emotion, women are more delicate than men; they are more willing to express emotions. Therefore, women are inclined to make use of sentimental vocabulary to express their thoughts and feelings in terms of language communication. When women describe one thing or an object, they usually use a lot of adjectives, and add a lot of exaggerated expressions, such as cute, beautiful, super invincible, and crazy and so on. When they described one thing, they will usually use exaggeration, such as ‘How bright the moon is!’ Many words have been the special words for women because of including strong emotion, such as honey, dear and so on. In Jane Eyre, the servant called Bessie and the teacher called Temple in Lowood Institution called Jane ‘Dear’ to show affections. These two women did not regard Jane as an evil girl and gave Jane a hand as Jane grew.