Presentation on theme: "Language Just as an automobile is used for transportation purposes, language is the vehicle by which humans communicate."— Presentation transcript:
Language Just as an automobile is used for transportation purposes, language is the vehicle by which humans communicate.
Introduction and Overview Definitions Components Language is rule-governed Language is powerful
Introduction & Overview, cont. Troublesome language Gender and language Culture and language Language and worldview
Definitions “The body of words and the system for their use in communicating that are common to the same people group (Verderber, 1999).” “The use by human beings of voice sounds, or written symbols that represent these sounds, in a pattern to express meaning (A.H.D., 1985).”
Definitions, cont. “A collection of symbols governed by rules and used to convey messages between individuals (Adler & Rodman, 2003, p. 72)”
Components of Language 1. Language is symbolic “Arbitrary constructions that represent a communicators thoughts.” “A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.”
Components, cont. 2. Meaning of language is not in words, but in people.
Language is rule-governed 1. Phonological rules: Govern how words sound when pronounced 2. Syntactic rules: Concerned with the structure of language 3. Semantic rules: Deals with the meaning of specific works 4. Pragmatic rules: How one uses language
Connotative vs. Denotative Denotative: The word’s direct, explicit dictionary definition Example: The word gay Connotative meaning: The thoughts and emotions associated with a word (taken from Gass & Seiter, 2003)
Language is Powerful 1. Language shapes attitudes It can be used to either promote or demote. Ex. Sexist and racist language
Language is Powerful, cont. Language reflects attitudes Language has innate power Affiliation Attraction and Interest Responsibility “You” vs. “I” in conflict resolutions
Troublesome Language Equivocal language: words that have more than one correct definition Relative words: words that gain meaning by comparison Slang: used by a group of people whose members belong to a similar co-group Jargon: specialized vocabulary that functions as a shorthand by people of a common background
Disruptive Language Fact vs. Opinion Fact vs. Inference (conclusions arrived from interpreting evidence) Emotive language: words that announce a speakers attitudes toward something
Evasive Language Euphemism: pleasant term substituted for an unpleasant one Equivocation: a deliberately vague statement that can be inferred more than one way
Profanity and Vulgarity Social implications rude, offensive Use of profanity often indicates a lack of intelligence and a deficiency in vocabulary
Gender and Language Content (Men and women talk about different topics) Reasons for communicating
Culture and Language Low-context culture: “Uses language primarily to express thoughts feelings and ideas as clearly and logically as possible.” (U.S., Canada) High-context culture: “Values language as a way to maintain social harmony.” (Asian and Middle Eastern countries)
Language and Worldview Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: Linguistic determinism: “The world view of a culture is shaped by the language its members speak.” Linguistic relativity: “If language determines thought, then speakers of a different languages will experience the world differently.”
Sapir-Whorf, cont. This hypothesis says that English speakers would not see the world in the same manner as a Hopi American Indian would.