Language

The Nature of Language
Language: a collection of symbols governed by rules and used to convey messages between individuals. Language is symbolic 

Arbitrary constructions that represent a communicator¶s thoughts.

Meanings are in people, not words.
User

Word
(Symbol)

Thing
(Referent)

Language is Rule Governed
Phonological Rules 

Word pronunciations Rules of syntax/grammar. Give words meaning. Govern how we use language p.75

Syntactic Rules 

Semantic Rules 

Pragmatic Rules 

The Power of Language
Language Shapes Attitudes 
  

Language Reflects Attitudes 

Naming Credibility Status Sexism and Racism

Power 

Powerful vs. powerless Convergence vs. divergence 

Affiliation  



Attraction and Interest Responsibility

Billy Bob Booger Esq.
Education:
1992-1995 1990-1994 Harvard Law School Stanford University B.S. Biophysics and Psychobiology

Experience:
1995-Present Microsoft Corporation Director of Internal Affairs 1991-1994 Franklin Covey Head Consultant and Trainer

Troublesome Language
Misunderstandings 


Slang 

Equivocal Language 

³we need to talk´ 

Used by groups of people whose members belong to a similar group. Specialized vocabulary used by people with common background and experience. 

Relative Words 

Jargon  

Person A:³The coffee is so strong´ Person B: ³Actually, it¶s quite weak´ 

Overly Abstract Language 

Ambiguity

Disruptive Language  Confusing facts and opinions
Facts are true or false  Opinions are speaker¶s beliefs.  

Emotive Language 

Describe the speakers opinions based on how the speaker presents the message.

Evasive Language  Euphemisms  

Confusing facts and inferences 

Words substituted in place of taboo words. Intentionally ambiguous speech. 

Equivocation 

Conclusions made based on little evidence.

Gender and Language
Content 

Conversational Style 

Research shows that men and women discuss similar topics in same-sex conversations.  

Reasons for Communicating 

Women ask more tag questions than men. Men interrupt women more during conversation. Women accommodate more to topics men use.

P.96

Culture and Language
Verbal Communication Styles 

Low-Context 

Use direct language to express thoughts, feelings, and ideas as clearly and logically as possible. Use the context in which a message is delivered in order to express and discover meaning. 

High-Context 

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.