COM 101 Chapters 1&2

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Human Communication
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The process of creating meaning through symbolic interaction
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Types of Communication
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1. Intrapersonal 2. Dyadic / Interpersonal 3. Small Group 4. Public 5. Mass
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Functions of Communication
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1. Physical 2. Identity 3. Social 4. Practical
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Competent Communicator
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1. Wide Range of Behaviors 2. Skill in performing Behaviors 3. Empathy/Perspective taking 4. Cognitive Complexity 5. Self-Monitoring 6. Commitment
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Language
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A collection of symbols governed by rules and used to convey messages between individuals
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Symbol
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Arbitrary constructions that represent communicator’s thoughts
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Phonological Rules
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How words are pronounced
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Syntactic Rules
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Spelling of words / sentence structure
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Semantic Rules
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Meaning of words
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Pragmatic Rules
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How people use language in everyday interaction
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Convergence
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Communicators who want to show affiliation with one another adapt their speech, as in vocabulary, rate of talking, number &a placement of pauses and level of politeness.
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Divergence
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Communicators who want to set themselves apart from others speaks in a way that emphasizes their difference.
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Linguistic Intergroup Bias
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Describing in-group members positively and out-group members negatively.
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Equivocal Words
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Have more than one meaning –> you won’t be needing things from home –> dying or going home soon?
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Relative Words
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Gain meaning through comparison –> school is large or small?
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Slang
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Language used by a group of people whose members belong to a similar coculture or other group
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Regionalisms
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Terms that are understood by people who live in one geographic area but that are incomprehensible to outsiders
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Jargon
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The specialized vocabulary that functions as a kind of shorthand for people with common backgrounds and experience
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Acronyms
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Initials of terms that are combined to form a word
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Abstraction Ladder
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A number of descriptions for the same thing. Lower items = person / object / event Higher items = subject as a member of larger class
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Abstract Language
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Speech that refers to events or objects only vaguely
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Stereotyping
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Making generalizations
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Behavioral Descriptions
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Being more specific –> who is involved? In what circumstances does the behavior occur? What behaviors are involved?
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Inferential Statements
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Conclusions arrived at from an interpretation of evidence
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Euphemism
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A pleasant term substituted for a more direct but potentially less pleasant one
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Equivocation
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A deliberately vague statement that can be interpreted in more than one way
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Factors that influence language
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1. Gender 2. Social Philosophy (I.e feminism) 3. Cooperative / Competitive Orientation 4. Occupation & Social Role 5. Historical Social Role 6. Sex Role (masculine, feminine, androgynous) 7. Culture
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Verbal Communication Styles
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1. Indirect – Direct –> Low-context cultures = thoughts / feelings / ideas –> High-context cultures = social harmony 2. Elaborate – Succinct –> succinctness in cultures where silence is valued 3. Formal – Informal
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Linguistic Relativism
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The notion that the worldview of a culture is shaped and reflected by the language it’s members speak
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Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
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Language shapes attitudes –> “have” & “are” = not ones fault –> “do” = one is responsible

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