The Effect of Gender and Style Variables on Hedging Devices among Persian Speakers

Maryam Hassani, Pariya Razmdideh


Language as a social phenomenon is affected by different factors such as age, gender, social status, culture, etc. Hedge is also considered as a part of language and a pragmatic phenomenon, seeming to be under the influence of these factors. This paper aims at investigating the effect of gender (female and male) and style (informal and formal) on the use of hedging by Persian speakers which hasn’t been considered yet. To this ends, in informal style, 8 Persian films (2012-2018) lasting for 12 hours and 54 minutes, 7 telephone conversations, each lasted for 20 minutes among genders, and some recorded daily conversations in different contexts were selected randomly. In formal style, 10 MA theses from different majors written by 5 Persian male and 5 female students were examined based on hedge taxonomies by Salager-Meyer (1997), Clemen (1996), Skelton (1988), and Jalilifar (2006). In this study, a new hedging category was added to their taxonomies. Running Chi-square analyses, it was found that, firstly, there was no significant difference between genders considering the use of hedges and no difference in the number of hedges used by them. Secondly, the hedging devices were used more in informal style. Thirdly, the used hedging categories were found with significant difference in two genders and two styles.


Persian Hedges, Hedging Devices, Gender, Style

Full Text:



Behnam, B., Darvishzadeh, A., & Naeimi, A. (2012). A Comparative Genre Analysis of Hedging Expressions in Research Articles: Is Fuzziness Forever Wicked. English Language and Literature Studies, 2(2), 20-38. DOI: 10.5539/ells. v2n2p20.

Mulac, A., Gile, H., Bradac, J. J., & Palomares, N. A. (2013). The Gender-Linked Language Effect: An Empirical Test of a General Process Model. Language science, 38(12). 22-31.

Brown, P., Levinson, S. (1987). Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University.

Clemen, G. (1996). Hedging in English Journalistic Economics. Retrieved July 12. 2014 from 6clemen.

Clemen, G. (1997). The Concept of Hedging: Origins, Approaches and Definitions. In Markkanen R. and H. Schröder (eds.) Hedging and Discourse: Approaches to the Analysis of a Pragmatic Phenomenon in Academic Texts. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 235-248.

Clyne, M. (1991). The sociolinguistic dimension: The dilemma of the German-speaking scholar. In H. Schroder (Eds), Subject-oriented texts: Languages for special purposes and text theory. Berlin & New York: Walter de Gruyter, 49-67.

Coates, J. (1987). Epistemic Modality and Spoken Discourse. Transactions of the Philological Society, 85, 100-131.

Crismore, A., Makkannen, R., & Steffensen, M. (1993). Metadiscourse in persuasive writing: A study of texts written by American and Finnish university students. Written Communication, 10, 39-71.

Crystal, D. (1995). In search of English: A traveler's guide. ELT Journal, 49(2), 107-121.

Hosman, L. A. (1989). The evaluative consequences of hedges, hesitations, and intensifiers: Powerful and powerless speech-styles. Human Communication Research, 15, 383-406.

Hyland, K. (1994). Hedging in academic writing and EAP textbooks. English for Specific Purposes, 13(3), 239-256.

………… (1996a). Nurturing hedges in the ESP curriculum. System, 24(4), 477-490.

……… . (1996b). Talking to academy: Forms of hedging in science research articles, Written Communication, 13, 251-281.

………… (1996c). Writing without conviction? Hedging in science research articles. Applied Linguistics, 17, 433-454.

……….. (1998). Hedging in scientific research articles. Amsterdam. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

………… (1999). Talking to students: Metadiscourse in introductory course books. English for Specific Purposes, 18, 3-26. DOI: 10.1016/S0889-4906(97)00025-2.

Jalilifar, A. (2011). World of Attitudes in Research Article Discussion Sections: A Cross Linguistic Perspective. Journal of Technology & Education, 5(3), 177-186.

…………… (2007b). All the way through the hedges: A corpus analysis of hedges in research articles. Greek Journal of Applied Linguistics (JAL), 23, 39-63.

Karimi, H., Gorjian, B., & Eidian, F. (2015). A contrastive study of hedge in English scientific articles among English native and Iranian non-native researchers: The case of conclusion sections. International Journal of Language Learning and Applied Linguistics World (IJLLALW), 8(4), 120-136.

Lakoff, G. (1972). Hedges: A study in meaning criteria and the logic of fuzzy concepts. Journal of Philosophical Logic, 2(4), 458-508.

Markkanen, R., & Schroeder, H. (1997). Hedging and discourse: Approaches to the analysis of a pragmatic phenomenon in academic texts. New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Nikula. T. (1997). Interlanguage View of Hedging. Hedging and Discourse: Approaches to the Analysis of a Pragmatic Phenomenon in Academic Texts. Ed. By Markkanen, R., & Hartmut. S, 24, 188-207. DOI:10.1515/9783110807332.188.

Nittono, M. (2003). Japanese hedging in friend-friend discourse. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. Columbia University. USA.

Razavi, M. (2012). Hedging in Farsi. In Proceedings of the 7th Iranian Conference on Linguistics, 305-313 [Persian].

Richards, J. C., & Schmidt, R. (2002). Longman Dictionary of Teaching and Applied Linguistics. 3rd. Persian Education Limited. Essex CM20 2JE. England.

Rosch, E. (1973). Natural categories. Cognitive Psychology, 4(3), 328–350.

Salager-Meyer, F. (1994). Hedges and textual communicative function in medical English written discourse. English for Specific Purposes, 13(2), 149-171.

…………………. (1997). I think that perhaps you should. A study of hedges in written scientific discourse. In: T. Miller (Ed.). Functional Approaches to Written Text: Classroom Applications. Washington: United States Information Agency. abbottb/formal.htm.

Samaie, M., Khosravani, F., & Boghayeri, M. (2014). The frequency and types of hedges in recent article introductions by Persian and English native authors. Procedia- Social and Behavioral Sciences, 98, 1678-1685.

Skelton, J. (1988). The Care and Maintenance of Hedges. ELT Journal, 42(1), 37-43.

Stubbs, M. (1986). A matter of prolonged fieldwork: Notes towards a modal grammar of English. Applied Linguistics, 7(1), 1-25.

Tahririan, M. H., & Shahzamani, M. (2009). Hedging in English and Persian Editorials: A Contrastive Study. IJAL, 12(1), 199-221.

Vande Kopple, W. J., & Crismore, A. (1990). Readers' reactions to hedges in a science textbook. Linguistics and Education, 2, 303-322.

Varttala, T. A. (2001). Hedging in scientifically oriented discourse: Exploring variation according to discipline and intended audience. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. University of Tampereen yliopisto. Finland.

Vassileva, I. (2001). Commitment and detachment in English and Bulgarian academic writing. English for Specific Purposes, 20, 83-102.

Weinreich, U. (1966). On the semantic structure of English. In Greenberg, J. H. (ed.). Universals of language. 2nd Edition. Cambridge. MA: MIT Press, 142–217.

Yang, Y. (2003). A contrastive study of hedges in English and Chinese academic discourse. Unpublished MA thesis, Jilin University. Changchun. China.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.