Women about Women: Genderlect Manifestations through Positive and Negative Self-Stereotypes in Contemporary Fiction





author, English-language fiction, female, gender, novel, speech pattern


The article re-actualises genderlect as one of the key points of male-female differentiation and a  relevant object in the humanities, not merely from the perspective of gender studies but linguistic and literary ones. Self-stereotypes in the speech of one or another gender may be considered the result of the complex interaction of collective identity and the subconscious. The excerpts from the selected novels by Salman Rushdie, Jennifer Crusie, Lisa Kleypas, Aleksandar Hemon, Zadie Smith and Candace Bushnell have provided a wide range of patterns of expressing self-stereotypes in the dimension of ‘women about women’. To emphasise the multicultural nature of genderlect self-stereotypes, the writers of different ethnic affiliations are represented. The article also classifies the criteria of self-stereotype polarisation in characters’ speech to explicate the strategies of women’s verbal behaviour. These criteria include marital status, maternal experience, professional activity, ageism and harassment. The impact of gender on verbal behaviour, observed in real life and adapted to fiction through literary representation, is manifested in communication stereotypes. This serves to illuminate the most representative speech self-stereotypes, which make certain images or ideas easier to interpret. The application of an interdisciplinary approach with a set of appropriate methods to theorising and practising genderlect reveals its role as a significant tool for reconstructing a linguistic worldview and contextualises both positive and negative self-stereotypes for the expressive evaluation of speech in fictional discourse.

Author Biographies

Oksana Bohovyk, Ukrainian State University of Science and Technologies

Oksana Bohovyk (Ph.D. Philology, Assoc. Prof.) is currently employed at Philology and Translation Department, Ukrainian State University of Science and Technologies, Dnipro, Ukraine. Her research interests focus on English-language literature, eco-fiction, discourse and dialogue, and gender studies. She also works in the fields of cognitive linguistics, bilingual cognition, linguistic and cultural relativity, critical reading, and sociolinguistics.

Andrii Bezrukov, Ukrainian State University of Science and Technologies

Andrii Bezrukov (Ph.D. Philology, Assoc. Prof.) is currently employed at Philology and Translation Department, Ukrainian State University of Science and Technologies, Dnipro, Ukraine. His research interests focus on English-language literature, comparative literature studies, literary process review, postmodern metafiction, migrant literature, eco-fiction, and gender studies. He also works in the fields of literary theory, literary criticism, cultural linguistics, and teaching translation techniques.

Victoriia Yashkina, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University

Viktoriia Yashkina (Ph.D. Philology, Assoc. Prof.) is currently employed at English Philology Department, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Dnipro, Ukraine. Her research interests focus on cross-cultural communication, multilingualism and multiculturalism as well as English language stylistics and discourse. She also works in the fields of foreign literature studies, the language of current mass media and comparative linguistics.


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How to Cite

Bohovyk, O., Bezrukov, A., & Yashkina, V. (2023). Women about Women: Genderlect Manifestations through Positive and Negative Self-Stereotypes in Contemporary Fiction. Baltic Journal of English Language, Literature and Culture, 13, 18–34. https://doi.org/10.22364/BJELLC.13.2023.02