speech community

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CH: 3
The World of Words
The Symbolic Nature of Language
• Words are symbols
 Symbols are arbitrary
 Symbols are ambiguous
 Symbols are abstract
Principles of Verbal Communication
• Language and culture reflect each other
• The meanings of language are subjective
• Language use is rule-guided
 Communication rules
– Regulative rules
– Constitutive rules
• Punctuation shapes
meaning
The Demand-Withdrawal Pattern
Symbolic Abilities
• Language defines phenomena
 Language shapes perceptions
 Language can totalize
 Language shapes and
reflects relationships
Symbolic Abilities
• Language evaluates
 Language reflects and shapes perceptions
 Language can be loaded
 Language can degrade others
• Language organizes perceptions
 Language allows abstract thought
 Language can stereotype
Symbolic Abilities
• Language allows hypothetical thought
 We can think beyond immediate, concrete
situations
 We live in three
dimensions of time
 We can foster
personal growth
Symbolic Abilities
• Language allows self-reflection
 Self-reflection allows us to monitor
communication
 Self-reflection allows us to manage our image
Speech Communities
• A speech community exists when people
share norms about how to use talk and what
purposes it serves.
 Defined by shared understandings of how to
communicate rather than
countries or geographic
locations
Gender Speech Communities
• Gender speech communities
 Socialization into gender speech communities
 Gendered communication in practice
 Misunderstandings between gender speech
communities
Guidelines for Improving
Verbal Communication
• Engage in dual perspective
• Own your feelings and thoughts
 Rely on I language rather than you language
Guidelines for Improving
Verbal Communication
• Respect what others say about their feelings
and thoughts
• Strive for accuracy and clarity
 Be aware of levels of abstraction
 Qualify language
– Static evaluations
– Mental indexing
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