According To The Research On Gender Comparisons In Language Style Marked and Unmarked Terms in the English Language

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Marked and Unmarked Terms in the English Language

MARKING AND NON-MARKING TERMS:

In binary oppositions:

The terms marked and unmarked are often used in binary oppositions. This means that the terms are not equal in weight, one (unsigned) is neutral or more positive than the other. As Geoffery leech observes, when there is a conflict between two or more terms, tenses, or cases, it is marked if one of them has an additional ‘affix’, as opposed to unmarked, which has no marker. For example, cat is an unmarked and neutral term and cats is marked with the -s suffix, just as actor is an unmarked term and actress is a term marked with the -ess affix, and polite is a positive term as opposed to a negative term. ‘obscene’. In general, nouns in English are marked as plural (books) versus singular (books). In French, the feminine is generally marked and the masculine is an unmarked term, e.g. petit as opposed to petite; but if gender is marked in English, it is done lexically. i.e., given specific words for one gender, none for the other, for example, the word duck is a feminine term and duck does not. and this word provides services for all types. Moreover, opposite marking is observed in pronouns, i.e. male as unmarked term, female term as marked. For example,

One in HIS sense would not do such a thing (unmarked)

No one in their senses would do such a thing (marked with femininity)

The signified is masculine, as the first statement can refer to either gender, but the second would identify it as feminine.

At polar opposites:

The same kind of marked/unmarked distinction is seen in polar opposites (bipolar) good/bad, rich/poor, day/night, low/tall, short/long, and we prefer to measure things by length. rather than brevity. Instead of asking how long this piece is, we can ask how high this building is, not how short this piece is or how low this building is. Because the first one will give a neutral expression that can be long or short, and in the second one, we have only one possibility of being short. It does not only rely on the measuring scale, but can also be used in such cases,

How well does he speak French? Very bad

How BAD does she speak French? Like a native

The first statement is neutral and different from the second mentioned in this context, so the answer is completely different.

Signification can be defined as the relationship between form and meaning. If there is a contrast of two different forms in a dimension, the unmarked one will be neutral and can be applied to the entire dimension rather than to a specific aspect of it. It can be argued that this phenomenon is related to the negative-positive characteristic of the semantic opposition itself. Normally the unmarked is taken as positive and the marked as negative, eg happy/unhappy, complete/incomplete, stable/unstable; but in some cases there is an invisible element of negation, for example, it is easy to identify with dead not alive More live by not dead.

The Pollyanna Hypothesis:

A detailed explanation of the sign is based on the psychological or empirical basis that some psycholinguists have hypothesized, the so-called “Pollyanna hypothesis,” which suggests that people tend to view life more positively and pay more attention to the brighter aspects of life. provides an argument for associating good with ‘unmarked’ terms and bad with ‘marked’ suffixes and prefixes.

In relative opposition:

There is also a chance of bias in relative contrasts, but it is more appropriate to call this ‘dominance’ rather than ‘signality’, eg parent/child, front/back, right/wrong the first term appears to be more dominant than the other. one, so we prefer to place the dominant term (parent-child) first, or perhaps give both terms one name using the dominant term (property). Marking and dominance seem different in terms of power, but it depends a lot on the psychological basis. There is no logical significance in assigning symbols to these terms of oppositions. The difference between “dead” and “alive” can be given the same logical explanation as +dead/-dead as -alive/+dead, since they are both logically equivalent. This indicates that the unsigned term gained the + and up-axis discrimination, while the dominant term of the opposition gained the right-axis.

But the distinguishing term for the mentioned term is never omitted, and the neutralization of the opposition is still indicated (open, plain, good, etc.)

Ruth Kempson’s Rule:

Ruth provided a rule to account for lexical ambiguity due to markedness. For this rule, we can take the dog and the dog as an example.

If a) there are two words W1 and W2 with meanings m1 and m2, and m1 differs from m2 only in that it has an additional property -X

And if b) there is no meaningful word m3 like W3 and m2 differs from m3 by having the additional property +X.

This means that m3 is an additional meaning of W1. (m2 and m3 are co-hyponyms of m3 and thus W1 is an unsigned term). This rule covers all uncertainties, the first term being a more general, additional feature, and the second being more specific. There are explanations for other kinds of ambiguities, for example, it is a tautology to say that a calf is a young cow, and on the other hand, it is not a tautology to say that it is a cow, not a calf. This is how ambiguity arises through the same words. There may also be some hierarchical structures for the same word.

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