Lady or woman? The debate on lexical choice for describing females in sport in the Turkish language

Pinar Arpinar-Avsar*, Serkan Girgin, Nefise Bulgu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The study investigates linguistic sexism in communication in sports within a sociolinguistic context. The starting point of the research is a recent debate in Turkish society about the appropriate word to refer to females in sport. Specifically, the manuscript focuses on the preference between the near-synonymous Turkish words kadın and bayan (the corresponding English words are ‘woman’ and ‘lady’) in the case of describing females in sport. We present a theoretical background for gender in language and linguistic sources that explains the multilayered meanings of the Turkish words. We also present the findings of a supportive text-mining study that covers articles published in national newspapers in four consecutive years. The study aims to reveal the change in the recent usage in favour of both words as well as investigate long-term trends by using the 50-year archive of a mainstream national newspaper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-200
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • gender
  • language
  • media
  • sport
  • women
  • ITC-CV

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