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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Paralanguage and Communication Capabilities

Language is one of the most fundamental aspects of our life and society. Without language we are stuck with little ability to work together as a group and share resources for mutual survival. It is what helps us formulate culture and come to understand each other in a way that defines fundamental values. Understanding para-language leads to higher levels of awareness and knowledge of our social world. 

Language relies on the verbal and non-verbal information. By providing context to language through tone, volume, etc.. that are nonphonemic in nature. 

When used well paralanguage can use to support better better ideational, interpersonal and textual information that leads to stronger meaning and communication (Martin, & Zappavigna, 2019)

Typically this is done verbally but it can also be done in written form. As we become more familiar with written language we will train our brains to find written paralanguage attributes within the word choice and prose. 

Let's think of this as a potential learned skill. If you are able to increase your communication channel by better understanding paralanguage in verbal and written form you would also be able to obtain more information from communicating with others. When a conversation is important you can take the information, break it down further, and use that information more effectively. 

Martin, J. & Zappavigna, M. (2019). Embodied meaning: a systemic functional perspective on paralanguage. Functional Linguistics, (6) 1. 

Rima, A. (2019). Nonverbal Communication in Text-Based, Asynchronous Online Education. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, (10) 1.


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