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First Advisor

Hardy, Heather K. (Heather Kay), 1952-

Legacy Department

Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality


The courtroom has long been deemed a place where ’’men's language’’ thrives. It is my contention that there are many positive aspects to the use of "women's language" in the courtroom. In my thesis I will demonstrate the positive aspects of "women’s language" in the courtroom. I will begin my thesis with a discussion of what constitutes "women's language." I will discuss child language socialization, the use of hedges, tag questions, minimal response, question asking, turn-taking, and grammar usage. Next I will discuss women lawyers. I will concentrate on the new feminist firms which value women's style. Finally I will combine women’s usage of language and women in the courtroom to explain the advantages of "women’s language." I will also draw upon personal observation of the Assistant State’s Attorney of Ogle county, Kathy Kauffmann, and Kelly Wilson, the legal advocate at a domestic crisis center, in the courtroom and conference room.


Includes bibliographical references.


26 pages




Northern Illinois University

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