Doing Corpus Linguistics: Toward a Conceptual Framework for Indicator of Gender in English Language and Education

  • Abdul Ghaffar Bhatti Assistant Professor, University of Education, Lahore, Multan Campus
  • Muhammad Imran Assistant Professor, Govt College Havelian, Abbotabad
  • Muhammad Younas PhD Scholar, School of Education, Soochow University, China
Keywords: Education; technology; pronouns, color terms, empty adjectives, tag-questions, BNC.


Technology plays a pivotal role in the ESL teaching and education sector. In language teaching, gender and language research mostly favors the idea of potential differences in language use between men and women. This paper explores different indicators of gender in the writing of males and females in a large subset of the British National Corpus (BNC) covering the domain of fiction with the application of the Corpus tool. Robin Lakoff's four key linguistic terms that mark female language have been used as benchmarks against which the study has been conducted. Previous researchers like Argamon, Koppel, and Shimoni claim that females use more pronouns and a smaller number of nouns as compared to men. The hits and frequencies of Lakoff's terms and researchers' claims have been checked on BNC to get at the empirical findings. Taking general corpus BNC, corpus research method has been used to answer the research questions. The study found a substantial difference in the documents authored by male and female written text. It was also found that females use many more pronouns and males use many more nouns. Assumptions made regarding Lakoff's terms have been partially substantiated since the results vary a little concerning the use of empty adjectives like 'cute' and 'divine'. The work is a valuable addition to the existing corpus of knowledge about gender differences in language and it provides space for researchers to work in even broader perspectives.