Saudi Women’s Speech as a Gender Identity Marker in ‎Mixed-Gender Informal Interaction: A Case Study

Zuhair Dawood Mohammad Zaghlool, Heba Abdulmajeed Ben Yahia


This study aimed at investigating the Saudi women’s style of talk that constructs their gender identity in mixed-gender informal interaction qualitatively. The sample of the study consisted of four Saudi females and two Saudi males. The study included two embedded units, in which each unit involved two female participants and one male participant. Besides, observation of the two units was used to collect data. To analyze data qualitatively, an instrument based on the interactional sociolinguistics and the conversation analysis approaches and the description of women’s language, which was validated by six EFL university professors, was used. It was found that the females’ use of the involvement forms and strategies and the discussion of feminine topics were extremely prominent. However, the females employed the politeness strategies and the general features of women’s talk to a certain extent. Yet, this accommodation the female attempted to reach did not results in a great shift with respect to their feminine identity. Therefore, the feminine identity of the females was presented clearly in both units. Furthermore, implications and recommendations for future research were offered.


speech, Women, gender, identity, female, politeness, involvement

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