Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Theresa McGarry

Thesis Professor Department

Literature and Language

Thesis Reader(s)

Martha Michieka, C. Wesley Buerkle


A breakout star among American progressives in the recent past, Elizabeth Warren has quickly gone from a law professor to a leading figure in Democratic politics. This paper analyzes Warren’s speech from before her time as a political figure to the present using the quantitative textual methodology established by Jones (2016) in order to see if Warren’s speech supports Jones’s assertion that masculine speech is the language of power. Ratios of feminine to masculine markers ultimately indicate that despite her increasing political sway, Warren’s speech becomes increasingly feminine instead. However, despite associations of feminine speech with weakness, Warren’s speech scores highly for expertise and confidence as its feminine scores increase. These findings relate to the relevant political context and have implications for presumptions of masculine speech as the standard for political power.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.