Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

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Focus on `Gender and Language' special issue: introduction

Jane Sunderland


The `Introduction' to the special issue of Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies `Focus on Gender and Language', takes four papers, locates each in the field of gender and language in general, and indicates the special contribution each makes to the field. Each paper is a report of an empirical study conducted in southern Africa. The paper by Appalraju and De Kadt (2002) is on gender in relation to bilingualism, and these researches find a relationship between gender, social mobility and use of English and Zulu. Ige and De Kadt's (2002) paper is on gender and politeness, and finds differences here not only between women and men, but, sometimes encouragingly, within women, and within men, and suggests that these construct as well as reflect gender identity. Reddy (2002) critically examines homophobic media texts in the southern African context and in doing so extends the work on gender, sexuality and insults. Hanong Thetela's (2002) paper on `sex discourses' looks at the euphemisms of `hlonipha' discourse, the use of which represents a serious hindrance for women when they report rape and other forms of sexual assualt. Together these four papers help to give the wider world an understanding of gender and language issues of concern in the southern African context.

(S/ern Af Linguistics & Applied Language Stud: 2002 20(3): 127-134)
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