17.430 gender-testing

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Fri Dec 05 2003 - 05:21:42 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 430.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 10:04:18 +0000
             From: lachance@origin.chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
             Subject: Request for expansion Re: 17.427 gender-testing


    I wonder if Professor Argamon or others would care to elaborate on the
    notion of an "information age criticism":

    > Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2003 09:03:03 +0000
    > From: "Prof. Shlomo Argamon" <argamon@iit.edu>
    > [...]
    > I am very interested in discussing this topic more - the links between
    > lexicogrammar, gender, genre, and how text is perceived are very
    relevant, I
    > believe, to developing an "information age criticism", bridging the gap
    > between the "Two Cultures".
    > -Shlomo-

    Whose two cultures? Grammatical gender is marked differently in different
    languages. And not all societies map social gender onto grammatical
    gender. Likewise perceptions and constructions of a science-art divide (I
    think this is the intended reference of the two cultures) vary greatly
    depending upon discursive contexts.

    What does it say about the model at play when the researcher strips out
    the count of pronouns and thereby ascribes the text to male-authorship?
    What studies bolster the link between female-authorship and pronoun
    peppering? How extensive and valid is the empirical data that informs the
    assertions made by the model? The sampling on gender-based linguistic
    analysis needs to account for such factors as socio-economic status, age,
    first-language, inheritance of language patterns from gender of the
    primary language teacher, production context of the utterances (e.g.
    gender of the interlocutors). If the model can begin to account for the
    sociolects and the ideolects of speakers and writers, the number crunching
    analyses might be put to good use in terms of gender-testing not only the
    sociosexualization of the writers but also that of the intended readers:

                      M to M
                      M to F
                      F to M
                      F to F

    And that whole dynamic shifts when moving from a one-to-one to a

                      M to M&M
                      M to M&F

    When the phenomenon of split addresse is observed and taken into account
    the unicity, especially the gendered uniformity of the author may no
    longer cohere.

    Who is a question that bears reflection in the context of where, when and
    with whom.

    Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large

    Wondering if...

    mnemonic is to analytic as mimetic is to synthetic

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