The Form of the
Message
Chapter 2- Part 2
Non-Verbal Communication & Manual Language
Nonverbal Communication
• The transmission of messages w/o spoken
words
– Body language…
• Smell, Taste, Touch
• Proxemics & Kinesics
– gender, status, culture & space
– types of gestures
– Gesture systems...
– Sign languages…
• analyzing signs
– Paralanguage…
– Speech substitutes….
Body Language
• Learned in cultural groups
• Interpreted unconsciously
• Often overrides verbal
language
• ~60% of communication?
• Beware of guidebooks.
Smell, Taste, and Touch
• Smell
– And ethnicity, culture
– Cigars, perfumes and status
• Taste
– And group membership
• Spicy foods..
• Touch
– And gender and power
• Relation to proxemics….
Proxemics
• Edward Hall, 1950s
• How people perceive and use space
• Cowboy proxemics
• Getting to theatre seats.
Gender, Status, & Space
• Entering into someone’s ‘space’
• Getting the ‘best’ office
– Or the biggest bedroom
• Having one’s own ‘space’
– Dens vs sewing rooms.
Culture and Space
• Different arrangements
– US grids & French circles
– German doors: closed vs open
• Different uses
– Where to eat in the Comoros
• Depends on gender too.
Kinesics
• Ray Birdwhistell, 1950s
• Body movements
– Shrugs, nods. Arm & leg-crossing
• Facial expressions
– Smiles, frowns, winks
• Gestures
– Palm up / palm down
– Thumbs up!
• Kinemes, allokines & kinemorphs.
Typology of Gestures
• Eckman & Friesen, 1960s
– Emblems
• Translatable (waving)
– Illustrators
• Of what is said (steering)
– Affect Displays
• Convey emotion (smiling)
– Regulators
• Control or coordinate (pointing)
– Adaptors
• Facilitate release (wiggling).
What non-verbal messages can
you interpret from this picture?
Gesture Systems
• Where verbal communication is difficult
• Topics and contexts are limited
– Simple alternative systems
• Little or no syntax
– Sawmills, baseball games, sailboat racing
– Complex alternative systems
• Syntax based on spoken language:
• Syntax independent of any spoken language
– Native American Plains sign language
» Signs used in varying order.
Manual Language
• A system of communication that employs
hand movements to convey meanings.
– American Sign Language (ASL) is used by
deaf people in the U.S.
• Topics and contexts are unlimited
– Syntax is complex, unique to specific
language
• American Sign Language (ASL; Ameslan) vs British
– Mutually unintelligible; not based on English
syntax
• Signs = concepts, not words (‘right’ vs ‘right’)
• Syntax = one sign can stand for several words
ASL
Four articulatory parameters:
•
•
•
•
Hand configuration
Place of Articulation
Movement of Hands
Orientation
Vocabulary & Grammar
o Socially constructed symbols
o May contain a single sign or a combination
of signs.
Paralanguage
• Sounds that “accompany” speech
– But aren’t words themselves
• George Trager (1950s)
– voice qualities
• Loudness, tone of voice
• Pitch, speed, rhythm
• Vocal modifications:
– whispering, cooing, breathy voice, rising intonation
– Vocal segregates (or vocal gestures)
• Stand on their own
– uh-huh, mhmm, shhhh, throat-clearing.
Speech Substitutes
• Sound signals substitute for spoken words
– Or parts of words
• Useful for communicating over distances
• Examples:
– Drum languages
• based on tones (Nigeria)
– Whistle languages
• based on tones
• based on vowels
– different whistled pitches = different vowels
Non-verbal Communication
• Edward Hall study of time
• Chronemics
– Monochronic Time
– Polychronic Time
Nonverbal communication
• Almost 2/3s of communication.
• Messages sent by clothing, jewelry,
tattoos, piercings, and body
modifications.
• Read article: Body Art as Visual
Language (handout)
Body Art
The Meaning of Silence
• Meaning?
• Culturally bound
• Effects of status?
– Cultural difference
– Attitudes about silence in the U.S.
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Structure of Words&Sentences