Verbal Communication and Language
Verbal Communication and Language CIS 110 002
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tanner Groneck on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CIS 110 002 at University of Kentucky taught by Shane Wehlage in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see COMP AND COM 1 in Communication at University of Kentucky.
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Date Created: 09/07/16
CIS 110 Chapter 1 notes What is language? Language is the system of symbols (words) that we use to think about and communicate experiences and feelings. It is governed by grammatical rules and is influenced by contexts. The Four constants of Language 1. Language is Symbolic- Words can be a symbol for a person, idea, or thing. These words help us communicate to others who view words as symbols in the same way as we do. 2. Thought Informs Language- Our thoughts create a system of symbols that we use to describe people, things, and situations- also known as Cognitive Thinking. Language can also influence our thoughts in a similar manner. When we see a word used to describe something, we develop a connotation of this word. For example, if your girlfriend asks you to see a movie called “American Love Story” you may react to it negatively due to its name. You may automatically assume this movie will not be good because of the symbols behind its name. 3. Language is Ruled by Grammar- In order for our words to complete a thought they must abide by a set of rules-also known as grammar. One rule in particular is called Syntax, or the placement of the words, which puts the words in a logical order so they can be understood. The pronunciation of the word also makes a huge difference. 4. Language is Bound by Context- Communicating effectively means understanding the context of your situation. If you’re interviewing for a job, it is important to use words and tone that is more formal. Communication Accommodation Theory states that able communicators adjust their language when in the presence of a specific person, group, or context. Functions of Language Communication Acquisition- the process of learning individual words in a language as well as how to use that language appropriately and effectively in various contexts. The 5 Competencies 1. Using Language as a Means of Control 2. Using Language to Share Information Questioning Describing Reinforcing Withholding 3. Using Language to Express Feelings 4. Using Language to Express Creativity 5. Using Language as Ritual Language and Meaning Semantics- The relationships among symbols, objects, people, and concepts; it refers to the meaning that words have for people, either because of their definitions or because of their placement in a sentence. Pragmatics- The ability to use a culture’s symbol systems appropriately. 3 keys to Understanding Semantic and Pragmatic 1. Words have multiple meanings Denotative meaning- A consistently accepted Definition Connotative meaning- People’s emotional or attitudinal response to a word 2. Abstraction Evasion- Avoiding specific details Equivocation- Words that have imprecise meanings that can be interpreted multiple ways. Euphemisms- words or phrases with neutral or positive connotations that we use to substitute for terms that might be perceived as upsetting. 3. Group Identification and Meaning Slang- language that is informal, nonstandard, and usually particular to a specific age or social group. Jargon- technical language that is specific to members of a given profession or activity or hobby group. Problematic Uses of Language Hateful and Hurtful Language Hate speech- Language that offends, threatens, or insults a person or group based on race, religion, gender, or other identifiable characteristics. Hurtful Language- Inappropriate, damaging, mean, sarcastic, or offensive statements that affect others in negative ways. Labeling- “labels we choose for our beliefs affect how we communicate them to others” Biased Language Biased language- Language infused with subtle meanings that imply that a person or subject should be perceived in a particular way. Politically Correct Language- Replacing biased terms with more neutral terms. Profanity and Civility Profanity- Cursing and other expressions considered rude, vulgar, or disrespectful. Civility- The social norm for appropriate behavior. 5 guidelines for civil language Use no words rather than offensive ones Use words appropriate to your specific listener Choose temperate and 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 Language in Context Language Reflects Context- We use language to reflect the environment we are in-who we’re with, where we are, and other cultural factors. Speech Repertoires are sets of complex language styles, behaviors, and skills that we have learned. Language Builds on Context- Language can adjust or change based on how the context has changed over time. Ex. If your stepmom has raised you your whole life you may call her mom, but if you’re closer to your real mother, you may call her by her first name. Language Determines Context- Language can create context. Depending on what language we use, we can continue using similar language to abide by the context we have created. Situational Context Code Switching- A type of accommodation in which communicators change from one repertoire or “code” to another as the situation warrants. High Language- A more formal, polite, or “mainstream” language. Low Language- Informal, easy going Relational Context Our relationship with the person we’re talking to can shape the language we use, and is very important when determining context. You wouldn’t speak to your boss in the same way you talk to your best friend. Determining a label for a relationship can also create the context and allow you to use the correct language when communicating with that person. Cultural Context Culture, Words, and Thoughts Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: Holds that the words a culture uses influence the thinking of people from that culture. Gender and Language Interruption- “when status and situation are neutral, men tend to interrupt women considerably more often than women interrupt men.” Intensifiers- “women use speech that heightens or intensifies topics.” Qualifiers- “kind of” “sort of” “maybe” Hedges- expression such as “I feel” “I think” Disclaimers- Discount what you are about to say in order to avoid confrontation. Tag Questions- Another form of uncertainty. These questions aim to get the approval of your conversational partner. “that was waitress was obnoxious, wasn’t she?” Resistance Messages- The manner in which men and women react to something they don’t want. Men are more direct, whereas women are more indirect. Class notes 8/29/16 Verbal Communication Transactional model- Both party in a social interaction sends and receives messages, codes and encodes the language
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