Typical Writing Styles Among Genders: A Corpus Study in Asian L2 Learners’ Academic Writing


Scholars have been attempting to distinguish the writing characteristics between male and female since the last several decades. Although it has been assumed that the gender-based characteristics more likely exists in literary works (Holmes, 1998; Koppel et al., 2002) and orally produced discourse (Mulac and Lundell, 1994) rather than in academic writing, a number of research studies found the distinctive language style in scientific articles, books, essays, business letters, web blogs, online messages, and emails (Argamon, et al., 2003; Baron, 2004; Colley and Todd, 2002; Jones and Myhill, 2007; Koppel et al., 2002; Sarawgi et al., 2011; Sterkel, 1988). Surprisingly, although the objects analysed by the earlier studies were diverse, all of them were written in the participants’ first languages. Considering the insufficient study on the different linguistics aspects among genders in second-language discourse, this study hence explores the learner corpus of The International Corpus Network of Asian Learners of English (ICNALE) (Ishikawa, 2013), which provides the electronic collection of written essays produced by 2,800 EFL and ESL learners from ten different countries in Asia including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan. Using the 3.3g version of compilation and annotation software UAMCorpustool (O’Donnell, 2008), the data is annotated based on the stylistic features on Rubin and Greene (1992), Koppel et al. (2002), and Mulac and Lundell (1994). This corpus study aimed to investigate the comparative gender-based writing styles in argumentative essays written by ESL learners with B2 CEFR proficiency level to those written by EFL learners with the same English proficiency level.

Author Information
Sulistyaningrum, University of Queensland, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2018
Stream: Humanities - Language, Linguistics

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