Looking Out/Looking In

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					CHAPTER TOPICS
                          LANGUAGE:
                 BARRIER AND BRIDGE
                                                         5
  •   Language is Symbolic
  •   Understandings and Misunderstandings
  •   The Impact of Language
  •   Gender and Language
  •   Culture and Language

                                             Looking Out/Looking In
                                                Thirteenth Edition
             Language is Symbolic
• The Natural World
    • Smoke means something is burning
    • A fever means someone is ill
• Language is Symbolic
    • Connection between words and the ideas or
      things they represent is arbitrary




LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                      2
                 Understanding and
                 Misunderstanding
• Understanding Words
    • Semantic rules
         • “Bikes” are for riding and “books” are for reading
    • Equivocation
         • Statements that have more then one commonly
           accepted definition
         • Newspaper Headlines:
              • “Family catches fire just in time.”
              • “20-year friendship ends at the altar.”
              • “Trees can break wind.”

LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                    3
                 Understanding and
                 Misunderstanding
• Relative Language
    • Words that gain their meaning by comparison
         •   Do you attend a large or small school?
         •   Fast and slow
         •   Smart and stupid
         •   Short and long
• Static Evaluation
    • Statements that contain or imply the word is
      lead to mistaken assumptions about people
LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                          4
                Understandings and
                Misunderstandings
• Abstraction
    • Is vague in nature
    • Behavior language is specific
      to things people do or say
• Abstraction Ladder
    • Abstract language can lead
      to miscommunication


                                      Figure 5.1 Page 165
LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                5
                Understandings and
                Misunderstandings
• Syntactic Rules
    • Govern the grammar of language
• Pragmatic Rules
    • Govern the way speech works in everyday
      interaction
    • Consider the difference between:
         • I love you
         • I love ya
         • I luv U
LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                    6
                Understandings and
                Misunderstandings
• Pragmatic Rules
    • What do infer by the following sentences?
         • “Would you like a drink?”
         • “Would you like something to drink?”
    • Pragmatic Rules of Email
         • When reading an email what do you think when
           you come across CAPITAL LETTERS!




LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                              7
          The Impact of Language
• Naming and Identity
    • Names are more than just a simple means of
      identification
    • They shape the way others think of us
    • They shape the way we view ourselves
    • 1900’s most popular names
         • Bertha, Mildred and Ethel
    • 2008’s most popular names
         • Madison, Ava and Chloe
LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                       8
          The Impact of Language
• Affiliation
    • Speech can build and demonstrate solidarity
      with others
    • Convergence
         • The process of adapting one’s speech style to
           match others
    • Divergence
         • Speaking in a way that emphasizes one’s
           differences from others

LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                               9
          The Impact of Language
• Power
    • Power difference between two statements:
         • “Excuse me, sir. I hate to say this, but I . . .I . . .I
           guess I won’t be able to turn in the assignment on
           time. I had a personal emergency, and . . .well . . .it
           was just impossible to finish it by today. I’ll have it
           on your desk Monday, OK?”

         • “I won’t be able to turn in the assignment on time. I
           had a personal emergency, and it was impossible
           to finish by today. I’ll have it on your desk Monday.”
LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                      10
          The Impact of Language
• Powerless Language
• Hedges:
    • “I’m kinda disappointed . . .” “I think we should . . .” “I guess I’d
      like to . . .”
• Hesitations:
    • “Uh, can I have a minute of your time?”
    • “Well, we could try this idea . . .”
    • “I wish you would—er—try to be on time.”
• Tag questions:
    • “It’s about time we got started, isn’t it?”
    • “Don’t you think we should give it another try?”

LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                                  11
          The Impact of Language
• Disruptive Language
• Three linguistic habits to avoid
• Fact-Opinion Confusion
    Fact                              Opinion
    You forgot my birthday.           You don’t care about me.
    You keep interrupting me.         You’re a control freak.
    You tell a lot of ethnic jokes.   You’re a bigot.



LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                 12
          The Impact of Language
• Disruptive Language
    • Fact-interference confusion
         • A: Why are you mad at me?
         • B: I’m not mad at you. Why have you been so
           insecure lately?
         • A: I’m not insecure. It’s just that you've been so
           critical.
         • B: What do you mean, “critical?” I haven’t been
           critical. . . .


LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                    13
          The Impact of Language
• Disruptive Language
• Emotive Language
    • Seems to describe something but actually announces
      the speakers attitude toward it
    If you approve, say         If you disapprove, say
    Thrifty                     Cheap
    Traditional                 Old-fashioned
    Extrovert                   Loudmouth
    Cautious                    Cowardly

LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                           14
          The Impact of Language
• Language of Responsibility
• “It” Statements
    • Note the difference in each set of sentences:
         •   “It bothers me when you’re late.”
         •   “I’m worried when you’re late.”
         •   “It’s nice to see you.”
         •   “I’m glad to see you.”
         •   “It’s a boring class.”
         •   “I’m bored in the class.”

LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                          15
          The Impact of Language
• Language of Responsibility
• “But” Statements
    • In each sentence the word but cancels the
      thought that precedes it:
         • “You’re really a great person, but I think we should
           see other people.”
         • “You’ve done good work for us, but we’re going to
           have to let you go.”
         • “This paper has some good ideas, but I’m giving
           you a D grade because it’s late.”
LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                  16
          The Impact of Language
• Language of Responsibility
• Questions
    • Some questions are used to avoid making a
      declaration
         • “What are we having for dinner?” Could mean, “I
           want to eat out.”
         • “How many textbooks are assigned in that class?”
           Could mean, “I’m afraid to get into a class with too
           much reading.”


LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                      17
          The Impact of Language
• Language of Responsibility
• “I” and “You” Language
    • “I” statements accept responsibility for a
      message
    • “You” statements express judgment
         • “You left this place a mess!”
         • “You didn’t keep your promise!”
         • “You’re really crude sometimes!”


LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                       18
          The Impact of Language
• Language of Responsibility
• “I” and “You” Language
    • An “I” statement has four elements:
         •   The person’s behavior
         •   Your interpretations
         •   Your feelings
         •   The consequences that the other person’s
             behavior has for you



LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                            19
          The Impact of Language
• Language of Responsibility
• “I” and “You” Language
• Example:
    • “I get embarrassed (feeling) when you talk
      about my bad grades in front of our friends
      (behavior). I’m afraid they’ll think I’m stupid
      (interpretation). That’s why I got so worked up
      last night (consequence).”


LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                        20
          The Impact of Language
• Language of Responsibility
• Reservations about “I” language
    • “I get too angry to use ‘I’ language”
    • “Even with ‘I’ language, the other person gets
      defensive”
    • “ ‘I’ language sounds artificial”




LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                           21
          The Impact of Language
• Language of Responsibility
• “We” Language
    • Implies the issue is the concern of both
      parties
         • “We need to figure out a budget that doesn’t
           bankrupt us.”
         • “I think we have a problem. We can’t seem to talk
           about money without fighting.”



LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                   22
             Gender and Language
• Content
    • Female friends spent more time discussing:
         • Relationship problems, family, health
    • Male friends spent more time discussing:
         • Current events, music, sports, business
    • Consider the gender’s impact on language:
         • “I want to talk about important things, like how
           we’re getting along. All he wants to do talk about
           the news or what we’ll do this weekend.”

LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                    23
             Gender and Language
• Conversation Style
    • The myth that women are more talkative than
      men does not hold up under scientific scrutiny
    • Men’s speech is characteristically:
         • More direct, succinct, and task-oriented
    • Women’s speech is more typically:
         • indirect, elaborate, and focused on relationships




LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                   24
             Gender and Language
• Nongender Variables
    • The link between gender and language isn’t
      as clear-cut as it might seem
    • The language between sexes is more similar
      than it is different.
         • One scholar suggested that the popular book,
           “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”
           should be changed to “Men Are from North Dakota,
           Women Are from South Dakota.”


LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                              25
             Culture and Language
• Verbal Communication Styles
    • Low-context cultures
         • Generally value language to express thoughts,
           feelings, and ideas as directly as possible.
    • High-context cultures
         • Generally value using language to maintain social
           harmony.
         • Learn to discover meaning from the context in
           which a message is delivered: nonverbal
           behaviors, history of the relationship, etc

LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                   26
             Culture and Language
• Verbal Communication Styles
    • Language and Worldview
         • Linguistic relativism
              • The worldview of a culture is shaped and reflected by the
                language its members speak.
              • The Eskimos have a large number of words for snow




LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE                                            27
                      Chapter Review
•   Language is Symbolic
•   Understandings and Misunderstandings
•   The Impact of Language
•   Gender and Language
•   Culture and Language




LANGUAGE: BARRIER AND BRIDGE               28

				
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