Give two examples of male and female speech-linguistic variations.

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Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One way in which men and women differ in their speech patterns is in the use of terminal questions. A terminal question is a grammatical statement that sounds like a question because of the speaker's inflection. Women will more often than men raise their voices at the end of a declarative statement, thus effectively turning the statement into a question. For example, when asked: "What time shall we meet?" women will more often than men respond: "8 o'clock?". Feminist scholar Carol Gilligan has theorized that this is a female-specific linguistic strategy designed to elicit consensus among the group.

Another difference Gilligan identified is that men tend to talk more about themselves and their accomplishments than do women. Women tend to talk more about their experience in relationships and their general emotional state.