Saying the “right thing” at a wedding reception”

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Transcript Saying the “right thing” at a wedding reception”

Chapter 4
Verbal Communication
The system of symbols
(words) that we use to
think about and
experiences and
The Nature of Language
► Language
is symbolic
► Words have multiple meanings
 Denotative meanings
 Connotative meanings
► Thought
informs language and vice
versa (cognitive language)
 E.G. What is a “good school?”
The Nature of Language
► Language
is ruled by grammar
 Phonological rules
 Syntactic rules
► Language
is bound by context
 Would you talk to your grandparents the
same way you would talk to your friends?
The Functions of Language
► Communication
 Learn words of a
 Learn to use words
appropriately and
effectively in the
context of the situation
Functional Communication
Using language as a means of control
 E.G. Verbally abusive relationships
Using language to share information
Using language to express feelings
 “I’m tired”, “I’m frustrated”, “I’m starving”
Using language to express creativity
 E.G. J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter”
 Don McLean’s “Vincent”
Using language as a form of ritual
 Saying the “right thing” at a wedding reception”
Using Language as a Means of
► Control
as a neutral term
Using Language as a Means of
Using Language to Share
► Giving
and receiving information
Using Language to Express
► Sending
messages to others to express how
we feel about ourselves, about them, or
about the situation
► “Appropriate and effective” requirement
Using Language to Express
Using Language as Ritual
Problems with Language
► Abstraction
and meaning
 High- and Low-level abstractions
►“Pick up a pizza tonight” V.S. “Pick
up a veggie pizza on wheat crust from
 Evasion
►Mom: “Where are you going?”
►Son: “Just out, Mom!”
Problems with Language cont.
 Equivocation
►“That’s not an ugly sweater, Honey.
It’s… colorful!”
 Euphemism
►He didn't’t die, he passed away.
 Slang/Jargon
►Poker Jargon
Problems with Language
► Confusing
facts, opinions, and
 Fact: something true and verifiable
 Opinion: personal evaluations
 Inferences: conclusions about what we
Language in Context
► Language
reflects context
(Have a variety of speech repertoires)
► Language
builds on context
(Adjust language to situation)
If you have a good relation with a
stepparent, you might call them Mom or
► Language
determines context
(Choose formal / informal language)
“Call me Brent”
Limits of Labeling
Relational Context
► We
moderate our language based on the
status of our relationships
Relational Context
Situational Context
► High
language: formal, polite, or
“mainstream” language
► Low language: easy going language for
more comfortable environments
Cultural Context
► Culture,
words, and thought
Language in Context
► The
cultural context (cont.)
 Gender and language
hedges, disclaimers
►Tag Questions
►Resistance Messages
 Geography and language
 Accommodation
Language in Context
► Technology
as Context
 When using technology, you
must use strong, clear
language to make up for lack
of nonverbal cues
 English has become the
language of technology
 Acronyms and emoticons
can enhance communication