Overall Differences between Men and Women

Overall, singers tended to use language which corresponded to their gender. Most pronouns and sentence final particles used by women were strongly feminine. Male singers had an even distribution between strong male language and neutral language, which suggests a coding of masculine language as the norm. As expected women used much more feminine language than men and vice versa. However, women used masculine language more than men used feminine language.

There was little difference in use of politness, with men using both slightly more polite and deprecatory language than women. Both genders used mostly plain langauge in terms of politness.

Sentence final particles made up the largest percentage of type of feature we marked. First and second person were also substantial. Differences between the gendered language when talking about oneself (first person) and when adressing someone (second person) may exist and should be considered in future research.

Differences over Time

There was a steep decline in use of feminine language by women over time. Additionally, there was a corresponding increase in use of masculine and neutral language by women over time. Men did not show a similar pattern. There were differences from decade to decade but overall no pattern emerged. This suggests that women (particularly female pop stars) are becoming less likely to conform to the prescribed notion of "feminine language." The lack of change in men's language suggests that they are not pioneering a similar change. This makes sense as the masculine form is unmarked (that is, it is perceived as the neutral or standard form) which would cause a man using feminine language to stand out more than a woman using masculine language. One could compare this to the "feminine" look of a man wearing women's clothing vs. the "androgynous" look of a woman wearing men's clothing.

There was little temporal difference in politeness. The only notable pattern was that there was an increase in men's use of deprecatory language and decrease in polite language over time.