Linguistic Strategies According to Gender as Reflected in the Kenya National Assembly

[1] Alupe University, Language and Literature Department, Kenya, E-mail:


[2] Muran’ga University of Science and Technology, Humanities Department, Kenya, E-mail:


Gender is ever present in our conversation. It is used to explain everything and is embedded in our institutions, our actions, thoughts and beliefs. In this research, we set out to establish the linguistic strategies employed by the male and female members of the Kenya National Assembly to drive their agenda and to achieve successful communication. This research sets out to establish assembly members’ manner of speaking and general adherence to speaking norms on the assembly floor. Under such a background, the study examined language and gender in the Kenya National Assembly. The research questions were: what are the linguistic strategies employed by speakers on the assembly floor based on their gender? How do members react to the gendered linguistic strategies? The study employed the Politeness Theory. The data was collected from four randomly selected sessions in the 12th Parliament- also referred to as National Assembly. The analysis of data adopted a quantitative and qualitative approach. Audio-visual recordings from the National Assembly were transcribed for analysis. In this process, selective transcription was used for the purpose of the research. Analysis of the linguistic items was done. The study established that members of the National Assembly used the following linguistic strategies: being direct, being assertive, use of metaphors, were ironic among others. It was observed that most of the members reacted in the following ways: cooperation, showing understanding, among others.

Keywords: Language, gender, strategies, politeness, National Assembly


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