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Address terms in New Zealand English: Tracking changes to the social indexicality of gendered terms of address

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posted on 15.11.2021, 23:03 by Amy Giles-Mitson

Recent research has suggested that some conventionally masculine address terms are becoming more gender neutral in English speaking countries. This study examines the four most prominent gendered address forms in New Zealand English: mate, bro, man and guys in order to gain insight into the terms’ social indexicalities, and track any shifts towards gender neutrality. The study takes a mixed-methods approach to analysing two distinct data sets: four corpora of spoken New Zealand English and a data set collected from a range of current media sources. Results from this study suggest that mate is in retreat in younger New Zealanders’ speech, while bro may be increasing in usage as an unmarked form. Results also suggest that both man and guys have a largely gender free status and are being used frequently in New Zealand. These findings contribute to the growing interest sociolinguists are taking in informal address terms by providing an analysis of the interactional and social functions of address forms in New Zealand English.

History

Copyright Date

01/01/2016

Date of Award

01/01/2016

Publisher

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Linguistics

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level

Masters

Degree Name

Master of Arts

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 PURE BASIC RESEARCH

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis

Language

en_NZ

Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

Advisors

Meyerhoff, Miriam