The Psychology of Communication

The Psychology of Communication

The Psychology of Communication

The Psychology of Communication

Excerpt

IN A BOOK THAT DEALS with human communication we consider it wise to define certain terms that are commonly understood -- or assumed to be understood. We would like, for example, to present clear-cut definitions of a term such as speech. Any student interested in getting such a definition from a source other than a dictionary would soon discover that the term speech has many uses and is variously defined. Frequently it is used as if it were synonymous with the term language. Speech is also used to designate linguistic systems that are orally produced and aurally received. On the other hand, some authorities are careful to distinguish between speech, or speaking, as a method of producing oral symbols, and the symbols themselves, which constitute a language. Before presenting our own definition we will consider several representative definitions, explanations, and observations that include the terms language and speech.

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE AS VIEWED BY LINGUISTS

Hughes(1962, p. 6) in his Science of Language uses the term language to mean "a system of arbitrary vocal symbols by which thought is conveyed from one human being to another." Implied in this definition are the concepts (1) that language is a system -- a code or a set of rules; (2) that language is arbitrary -- there is no intrinsic reason for any word (symbol) to mens what it does, or for the system as a whole to have the particular structure (characteristics) it (the system) developed; (3) that language is vocal -- it is made up of sounds that are produced by the human oral speech mechanism; (4) that oral language production is a function limited to human beings.

Pei(1949, p. 100) in his Story of Language says that "spoken language . . .

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