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Chapter 7-Verbal
 The Study of Language: Thinking
Dialectically
 Cultural Variations in Language
 Discourse: Language and Power
 Moving Between Languages
 Language and Identity
 Language Politics and Policies
 Language and Globalization
The Study of Language:
Thinking Dialectically
 Language Versus Discourse
1. La langue (language) - the entire
language system, including various
forms such as pidgin and creole.
2. La parole (discourse) - how language
is actively used by particular
communities of people, in particular
contexts, for particular purposes.
The Study of Language:
Thinking Dialectically
 Components of Language
 Semantics
 Syntactics
 Phonology
 Morphology
 Pragmatics
 Phonetics
 International Phonetic Alphabet
Definition of Verbal Codes
 Morphology: The meaning units
 Syntactics: The relationship of
words to one another (arrangement)
 Pragmatics: The effect of language
on perceptions and behaviors
Definition of Verbal Codes
 Verbal Codes: a set of rules about the
use of words
 Semantics: The study of the meaning of
words
 Phonology: The sound units of
language
The Study of Language:
Thinking Dialectically
 Language and Meaning:
What language issues are
universal?
 The power of language
 Systems of difference influence how we
classify the world.
 Expressions may not communicate the
same meanings in different cultures.
The Study of Language:
Thinking Dialectically
 Language and Meaning:
What language issues are universal?
 Osgood’s semantic differential:
- Evaluative dimension
- Potency dimension
- Activity dimension
The Study of Language:
Thinking Dialectically
 Language and Perception:
 The nominalist position: Perception is not
shaped by the particular language we speak.
 The relativist position (Sapir-Whorf
hypothesis): The particular language we
speak determines our thinking and perception
of reality.
 The qualified relativist position: Language
is a tool rather than a mirror of perception.
Cultural Variations in
Language
 Communication Style (verbal and
nonverbal):
 Tonal coloring or the metamessage
contextualizes how listeners accept and
interpret verbal messages.
 Some cultural groups prefer highcontext communication over lowcontext communication styles.
Cultural Variations in
Language
 Other Dimensions of Communication
Style:
 Direct/Indirect
 Elaborate/Exact/Succinct
 People communicate differently in
different speech communities and
contexts.
Discourse: Language and
Power
 Co-cultural communication
 Language in use depends on social relations
as well as contexts.
 Orbe: Groups with the most power
consciously or unconsciously develop
communication systems that support their
perceptions of the world, in which groups
without power must also function.
Discourse: Language and
Power
 Orbe’s Co-cultural communication
strategies:
Nonassertive
separation
Nonassertive
accommodation
Nonassertive
assimilation
Assertive
separation
Assertive
accommodation
Assertive
assimilation
Aggressive
separation
Aggressive
accommodation
Aggressive
assimilation
Discourse: Language and
Power
 Semiotics - how different discursive
units communicate meaning
 Semiosis is the process of producing
meaning.
 Meaning is constructed through the
interpretation of signs.
 Signifiers are culturally constructed,
arbitrary words or symbols we use to refer to
something else, the signified.
Discourse: Language and
Power
 Discourse and Social Structure:
Societies are structured so that
individuals occupy specific social
positions.
 Power and labels:
The use of labels, as signifiers,
acknowledges particular aspects of our
social identity.
Moving Between
Languages

Multilingualism
- A bilingual person speaks two
languages.
- People who speak more than two
languages are multilingual.
- Interlanguage is a kind of
communication that emerges when
speakers of one language are
speaking in
another language.
Moving Between
Languages

Translation and Interpretation
- Translation refers to the process of
producing a written text (the target
text) that refers to something said or
written
in another language (the
source text).
- Interpretation refers to the process of
verbally expressing what is said or
written in another language.
Moving Between
Languages

Translation and Interpretation (cont.)
- Languages differ in their flexibility of
expression for different topics, which
makes accuracy in translation, or
equivalency, even more difficult.
Language and Identity

Code switching refers to the
phenomenon of changing languages,
dialects, or accents.
- to accommodate other speakers
- to avoid accommodating others
- to express another aspect of their cultural
identity
Code switching can take on important political
meaning.
Language Politics and
Policies

Language policies are laws or
customs that determine which
language is spoken where and when.

They are embedded in the politics of
class, culture, ethnicity, and
economics--not language quality.
Language and
Globalization
 Rapid changes are occurring in the
languages spoken and learned in the
world.
 The dream of a common international
language or lingua franca has long
marked Western ways of thinking.
 Today, the dominance of English raises
important issues for intercultural
communication.
E. Meanings are
Context- Based
III. Message Characteristics
A. Messages are Packaged = to create a
unified meaning
Messages are RuleGoverned
 C. Vary in Abstraction
 D. Vary in Directness
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