昨日の記事「#3455. なぜ言語には男女差があるのか --- 3つの立場」 ([2018-10-12-1]) で依拠した Wardhaugh は，言語による性差は，社会や個人の認識というレベルでの性差に由来するのだろうと考えている．つまり「社会・文化・認識→言語」の因果関係こそが作用しているのであり，その逆ではないという立場だ．そして，そのような差異は，性に限らず教育水準や社会階級や出身地域などに基づく他の社会的パラメータにもみられるものであり，性だけを取り上げて，それを特に重視することができるのかと疑問を呈している．次の議論を聞いてみよう．
[W]e must be prepared to acknowledge the limits of proposals that seek to eliminate 'sexist' language without first changing the underlying relationship between men and women. Many of the suggestions for avoiding sexist language are admirable, but some, as Lakoff points out with regard to changing history to herstory, are absurd. Many changes can be made quite easily; early humans (from early man); salesperson (from salesman); ordinary people (from the common man); and women (from the fair sex). However, other aspects of language may be more resistant to change, e.g., the he-she distinction. Languages themselves may not be sexist. Men and women use language to achieve certain purposes, and so long as differences in gender are equated with differences in access to power and influence in society, we may expect linguistic differences too. For both men and women, power and influence are also associated with education, social class, regional origin, and so on, and there is no question in these cases that there are related linguistic differences. Gender is still another fact that relates to the variation that is apparently inherent in language. While we may deplore that this is so, variation itself may be inevitable. Moreover, we may not be able to pick and choose which aspects of variation we can eliminate and which we can encourage, much as we might like to do so. (350)
My own view is that men's and women's speech differ because boys and girls are brought up differently and men and women often fill different roles in society. Moreover, most men and women know this and behave accordingly. If such is the case, we might expect changes that make a language less sexist to result from child-rearing practices and role differentiations which are less sexist. Men and women alike would benefit from the greater freedom of choice that would result. However, it may be utopian to believe that language use will ever become 'neutral'. Humans use everything around them --- and language is just a thing in that sense --- to create differences among themselves. (354)
・ Wardhaugh, Ronald. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. 6th ed. Malden: Blackwell, 2010.
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