A Comparative Study of Hedges Used by Male and Female Native English Writers: A Corpus-based Analysis


  • Muhammad Ajmal Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, The Shaikh Ayaz University, Shikarpur, Pakistan
  • Saba Sadia Lecturer, Department of English, University of Gujrat, Gujrat, Pakistan
  • Uzma Sadiq Associate Professor of English, Division of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Education Lahore, D. G. Khan Campus, Punjab, Pakistan




AntConc, COCA, Corpus, Gender, Hedges, Native


This research paper presents a comparative study that examines the usage of hedges by male and female native English writers. Hedges, linguistic devices employed to indicate uncertainty or mitigate the force of statements, play a crucial role in shaping the tone and persuasive power of written communication. However, limited research has been conducted on potential gender differences in the use of hedges among native English writers. Therefore, this study aims to fill this research gap by conducting a corpus-based analysis. The study utilizes a large corpus of written texts by native English writers from various genres, such as academic papers, newspaper articles, and fictional works. Through quantitative and qualitative analyses, the frequency and patterns of hedge usage by male and female writers are examined, allowing for a comprehensive comparison of their respective linguistic strategies. The findings reveal intriguing insights into the gendered nature of hedge usage. While both male and female writers employ hedges, notable variations emerge in their frequency and types of hedges used. Furthermore, contextual factors, such as genre and audience, appear to influence the deployment of hedges differently between genders. The research also explores possible sociolinguistic implications of these gender differences and discusses the potential impact on readers' perceptions and interpretations.