Linguistics Senior Research Projects

Document Type

Capstone Project

Submission Date



Gender, language, LIWC, Austen


The current study investigates ten dimensions of female and male categories of speech, which focus on function words, as previously identified by Newman et al. (2008). Through the use of the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count tool (using the LIWC2015 dictionary), these ten categories were analyzed in the dialogue of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Results were consistent with previous findings by Newman et al. (2008). Four of five previously identified categories as more often used by male speakers (numbers, words per sentence, prepositions, articles, and words greater than six letters) were used with an even greater difference between Austen’s male and female characters. Four of five previously identified female categories of language (use of more negative emotion words, verbs, certainty words, negations, and personal pronouns) were also consistent with the Newman (2008) study and again revealed greater disparity between male and female usage. Results contribute to the idea that Jane Austen intentionally wrote character dialogue along gender language dimensions and to the argument that gendered language differences have long existed in the English language.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.