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COMS 212

Chapter 5

Semantic Rules Rules that reflect the ways in which users of a language assign meaning to a particular linguistic symbol, usually a word. E.g. "bikes" are for riding.
Equivocal language Statements that have more than one commonly accepted definition.
Relative words Words defined only through comparison. E.g. "The weather is nice outside."
Static evaluation Statements that contain or imply the word IS lead to the mistaken assumption that people are consistent and unchanging. E.g. "Mark IS a nervous guy." saying he's always nervous.
Abstract language Vague in nature.
Behavioral language Specific things people say or do.
Syntactic rules Rules that govern the grammar of a language. - In understanding structure.
Pragmatic rules Rules that govern the way speech operates in everyday interaction. Almost always unstated. - In understanding context.
Coordination Describing the way a conversation operates when everyone involved uses the same set of pragmatic rules.
Convergence The process of adapting one's speech style to match that of others.
Divergence Speaking in a way that emphasizes their differences from others. Setting themselves apart.
Powerless speech mannerisms Hedges, Hesitations, Intensifiers, Polite forms, Tag questions, Disclaimers, Rising inflections.
Three Disruptive Language habits: - Fact-opinion confusion - Fact-inference confusion - Emotive language
Fact-opinion Language When we present our opinions as if they were facts, and in doing so we invite an unnecessary argument. E.g. Fact: You forgot my birthday. Opinion: You don't care about me.
Fact-inference confusion Confusing factual statements with inferential statements. E.g. A: Why are you mad at me? B: I'm not mad at you. Why have you been so insecure lately? Solve using perception checking!
Emotive language Seems to describe something but actually announces the speaker's attitude toward it. Emotive words like: thrifty vs. cheap traditional vs. old fashioned
"It statements Replace the pronoun I with the less immediate word IT. E.g. "It bothers me when you're late."
"I" language Clearly identifies the speaker as the source of a message. Four elements: 1. The other person's behavior, 2. Your interpretations, 3. Your feelings, 4. The consequences that the other person's behavior has for you. E.g. "I'm worried when you're
"But" statements "X-but-Y" statements. When "but" cancels the thought that precedes it.
"You" language Expresses a judgment of the other person. Implies the speaker is qualified to judge the target. E.g. "You left this place a mess."
"We" language Implies that the issue is the concern and responsibility of both the speaker and receiver of a message.
Low-context cultures Generally using language to express thoughts, feelings, and ideas as directly as possible. E.g. United States and Canada
High-context cultures Value using language to maintain social harmony. E.g. Asian and Middle Eastern cultures.
Linguistic Relativism The world view of a culture is shaped and reflected by the language of its members speak. E.g. Eskimos numerous words for "snow."
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis The language spoken by Hopi Native Americans represents a view of reality that is dramatically different from that of more familiar tongues. E.g. Hopi tongue makes no distinction between nouns and verbs - thus describe the worlds as in process.
Created by: nicolemc