Chapter 4
Verbal
Communication
• Describe the power of language—the
system of symbols we use to think
about and communicate our
experiences and feelings
...
Chapter Outcomes
(cont.)
• Label communication problems
with language and how to address
them
• Describe how language refl...
The system of symbols
(words) that we use to
think about and
communicate
experiences and
feelings
Language
• Language is symbolic.
• Words have multiple meanings.
– Denotative: accepted definition
– Connotative: emotional or atti...
• Language is ruled by a system of
rules (grammar).
– Phonological rules: pronunciation
– Syntactic rules: word placement ...
• Communication
acquisition involves:
– Learning words of a
language
– Using the words
appropriately and
effectively in th...
Functional
Communication
Competencies
• Using language as a means of control to
influence oneself, others, environment
• U...
Functional
Communication
Competencies (cont.)
• Using language to express feelings
appropriately and effectively
• Using l...
Problems with
Language
• Abstraction and Meaning
– High- and low-level abstractions
(abstraction ladder)
– Evasion: avoidi...
Problems with
Language (cont.)
• The Abstraction Ladder
Problems with
Language (cont.)
• Situation and Meaning
– Semantics: meanings words have for
people based on relationships ...
The Dangers of Biased
Language (cont.)
• Biased language openly excludes or
implies something negative about certain
group...
The Dangers of Biased
Language (cont.)
• Profanity: insulting, rude, vulgar, or
disrespectful words or expressions
– Some ...
Guidelines for More
Civil Language
• Use no words rather than offensive ones.
• Use words appropriate to your specific
lis...
Language in Context
• Language reflects context
(Have a variety of speech repertoires)
• Language builds on context
(Adjus...
Language in Context
(cont.)
• The Relational Context:
– Using language and levels of
abstraction to create / reflect a
rel...
Language in Context
(cont.)
• The Situational Context:
– High language: formal, polite, or
“mainstream” language
– Low lan...
Language in Context
(cont.)
• The Cultural Context:
– Culture, Words, and Thought
• Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: A culture’s
wo...
Language in Context
(cont.)
• The Cultural Context (cont.)
– Gender and language affect
communication.
• Males: use interr...
Language in Context
(cont.)
• The Cultural Context (cont.)
– Geography and language affect
communication and understanding...
Language in Context
(cont.)
• Mediated contexts
– Communication via technology requires
strong, clear language.
• Powerful...
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Real comm2e ch4

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Real comm2e ch4

  1. 1. Chapter 4 Verbal Communication
  2. 2. • Describe the power of language—the system of symbols we use to think about and communicate our experiences and feelings • Identify the ways language works to help people communicate—the five functional communication competencies Chapter Outcomes
  3. 3. Chapter Outcomes (cont.) • Label communication problems with language and how to address them • Describe how language reflects, builds on, and determines context
  4. 4. The system of symbols (words) that we use to think about and communicate experiences and feelings Language
  5. 5. • Language is symbolic. • Words have multiple meanings. – Denotative: accepted definition – Connotative: emotional or attitudinal response • Thought informs language and vice versa. – Cognitive language: specific symbols used to describe ideas, situations, and so on The Nature of Language
  6. 6. • Language is ruled by a system of rules (grammar). – Phonological rules: pronunciation – Syntactic rules: word placement in a sentence • Language is bound by context. – Competent communication means understanding a situation. The Nature of Language (cont.)
  7. 7. • Communication acquisition involves: – Learning words of a language – Using the words appropriately and effectively in the context of the situation The Functions of Language
  8. 8. Functional Communication Competencies • Using language as a means of control to influence oneself, others, environment • Using language to share information, which involves: – Questioning – Describing – Reinforcing – Withholding
  9. 9. Functional Communication Competencies (cont.) • Using language to express feelings appropriately and effectively • Using language to express creativity – Imagining: ability to think, play, and be creative in communication • Using language as a form of ritual – Ritualizing: learning the rules for managing conversations and relationships
  10. 10. Problems with Language • Abstraction and Meaning – High- and low-level abstractions (abstraction ladder) – Evasion: avoiding giving details – Equivocation: using unclear words – Euphemism: using inoffensive words – Slang: using informal, nonstandard words – Jargon: using technical language
  11. 11. Problems with Language (cont.) • The Abstraction Ladder
  12. 12. Problems with Language (cont.) • Situation and Meaning – Semantics: meanings words have for people based on relationships between symbols, objects, people, and concepts – Pragmatics: ability to use cultural symbol systems appropriately • Limits of Labeling – Accepting labels may overlook individual differences.
  13. 13. The Dangers of Biased Language (cont.) • Biased language openly excludes or implies something negative about certain groups. • Politically correct language uses neutral terms in place of biased language. – May avoid real issues in favor of politeness – Allows people to be both sensitive and accurate when choosing words
  14. 14. The Dangers of Biased Language (cont.) • Profanity: insulting, rude, vulgar, or disrespectful words or expressions – Some may see offensive words as reasonably hostile, based on the situational context. • Civility: social norm for appropriate behavior – Follow guidelines for civil language.
  15. 15. Guidelines for More Civil Language • Use no words rather than offensive ones. • Use words appropriate to your specific listener. • Choose temperate, accurate words over inflammatory ones when commenting on ideas, issues, or persons. • Use objective, respectful, nondiscriminatory language. • Use clean language at all times when at work.
  16. 16. Language in Context • Language reflects context (Have a variety of speech repertoires) • Language builds on context (Adjust language to situation) • Language determines context (Choose formal / informal language)
  17. 17. Language in Context (cont.) • The Relational Context: – Using language and levels of abstraction to create / reflect a relationship
  18. 18. Language in Context (cont.) • The Situational Context: – High language: formal, polite, or “mainstream” language – Low language: informal, casual language for more comfortable environments • Includes slang – Sex and gender are part of situational context.
  19. 19. Language in Context (cont.) • The Cultural Context: – Culture, Words, and Thought • Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: A culture’s words influence thinking. • Linguistic determinism: Language influences how we see the world. • Linguistic relativity: Speakers of different languages have different views of the world.
  20. 20. Language in Context (cont.) • The Cultural Context (cont.) – Gender and language affect communication. • Males: use interruptions • Females: use intensifiers, qualifiers, hedges, disclaimers, tag questions • Both use resistance messages differently.
  21. 21. Language in Context (cont.) • The Cultural Context (cont.) – Geography and language affect communication and understanding of the world. – Accommodation means adapting to another person. • Code switching • Style switching
  22. 22. Language in Context (cont.) • Mediated contexts – Communication via technology requires strong, clear language. • Powerful or intense language may receive more attention. – English has become the language of the Internet and mass media. – Acronyms and emoticons can enhance, or hinder, communication.

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