Gendered Representations in Language: A Corpus-Based Comparative Study of Adjective-Noun Collocations for Marital Relationships


  • Esaya Britto Raphael Jazan University



gendered language, gendered representation, marital relationships, sexism, power distribution


In language teaching, a study of the corpora gives teachers access to authentic texts and the language of these texts is the language used in real-life communication. Social structures and culture-defined representations of gender influence sexist language or choice of words based on gender bias. Based on the premise that adjectives as ‘describing words’ help define and express human behaviour, attitude and psyche, this research paper tries to explore and compare collocational behaviour of adjectives using four pairs of female and male nouns for marital relationships (bachelor and spinster, bridegroom and bride, husband and wife, and widower and widow) in the British and the Indian contexts. Considering that these four noun pairs sequentially represent the four stages in a marital relationship, this comparative analysis tries to demonstrate with collocational evidence the categorization of social identity and power distribution, the presence of sexism in language usage, and analyzes and interprets the cultural meanings they embody. By examining the gendered adjective-noun collocational frequencies and dispersions in the British National Corpus (BNC) and the Kolhapur Corpus of Indian English (KC), this paper seeks to present certain key perspectives in gender representations in two diverse socio-cultural and historical backgrounds and analyze how gendered language is used by native and non-native speakers.

Author Biography

Esaya Britto Raphael, Jazan University

English Language Institute


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