Words are arbitrary and have no meaning in themselves
Rules that influence Language
Phonological, Syntactic, Semantic, Pragmatic
how sounds are combined, how things are pronounced (i.e. tomAto, tomaato)
ways that symbols can be arranged to create a new meaning (i.e. This soup makes me well when I am sick vs. This soup makes me sick when I am well.)
Tells us what interpretation of the message is appropriate in a given (relationship) context (i.e. "come here" boss vs. lover)
tells us what interpretation is appropriate in a given (spoken) context (i.e. "fly" that girl is fly vs. I will fly to Dallas next week)
Coordinated Management of Meaning Theory (CMM)
We use rules at several levels to create our own messages and interpret others' statements
Invalid Assumptions About Language
Words have only 1 definition Words are what they symbolize Words have specific referents People and things do not change
Complicated ways on conveying the same thing (i.e.mobile section of petrified matter agglomerates no bryophytes)
Name 7 items that language impacts.
Naming and identity, credibility, status, affiliation, power, sexism, racism
Naming and Identity
• Hypothetical people with common names were given higher grades than unusual names • Sexism- implying that males/females have superior traits and the opposite sex has inferior traits (policemen vs. police officers) • Racism- Reflects a worldview that classifies members of one racial group as superior and others as inferior
• Dr. Fox; hired a guy (actor) and used made up words to college students and told him that he was amazing, asked college students what they thought of him- that he was smart because of the words that he used
• My Fair Lady- movie about a street vender who changes her language • Is associated to attractiveness
• Convergence and divergence • Convergence, mimicking behavior or language • Diverge, don't like someone- do the opposite of what they are doing
Speech mannerism can affect its perception; in order to enhance perception people tend not use certain words and word patterns that show a lack of competence
stewardess vs. flight attendant, fireman vs. firefighter, secretary vs. administrative assistant
black market, blacklist, and blackball- negative connotation, while white is viewed positively
more than one definition (i.e. "I want Michael Jackson to come because he has touched so many young people...")
ways of generalizing- Ex: "Marriage counselors are worthless"; "New Yorkers are rude"
saying something more politely or less bluntly (i.e. Golden Years- old age, Sub-optimal- fail, Big boned- fat)
language depends on the person communicating, gains meaning by comparison
mistaken assumption that things are consistent (Korzybsiki- dating)-Every time you have an assumption about somebody you write it down (i.e. "Maria IS bad"- she might be bad today, but she might be great tomorrow)
Language of Responsibility
It, But, I, You, We statements
avoids responsibility- "___ bothers me when you don't call me"
effect of canceling the thought that precedes it "You're a great guy, ___ we need to break up"
more accurate and less provocative way to express a complaint.
3 Parts of "I" Language
1. The persons behavior 2. Your feelings 3. The consequences that the other behavior has for you Ex: " I get embarrassed (feeling) when you talk about my bad grades in front of our friends (behavior) . I'm afraid they will think I'm stupid (consequence)."
Signals other- orientation when praising, sounds critical during confrontation
Signals concern for bother people involved; commitment and cohesiveness
Seems to describe something, but really announces the speaker's attitude towards it ( if you approve, you say: thrifty, traditional, extrovert, cautious; if you don't approve: cheap, old-fashion, coward, loudmouth)
Both use language to maintain and build relationships Male-Male conversations- like talking to that person Female-Female- needed, we need each other Females directed toward nurturing the relationship Males talk about trying to accomplish a task
Conversation Styles (Male vs. Female)
Females- intensive adverbs, emotional references and contradictions (focused on relationship)- I shouldn't tell you this but... Males- use judgmental adjectives, directives, and "I" references (direct, to the point and task oriented)