ERIC Number: ED180006
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Spoken Word and Human Consciousness: A Bio-Physical Perspective.
Routhier, Marc E.
A discussion of the functions of human communication shows that underlying them is the cognitive process by which people have the ability to take the view of others, to internally represent reality, and to take into account knowledge and experience to choose future actions. These features of decentration and abstraction reveal the link between human communication and consciousness. Human speech also has characteristic features that make it amenable to some cognitive functions, due in part to the complementary evolution of the vocal-auditory modality and the brain-central nervous system. The spoken word achieves the level of an act that is simultaneously experienced by all participants in the communicative event, fixing attention, focusing awareness, and stimulating mental activity as the speech act occurs. Oral utterance thus encourages a sense of continuity with life, a sense of participation, because it is itself participatory. This conclusion is further supported by studies on brain lateralization, which propose that the spoken word as event and symbol situates the consciousness of the individual at the interface between states of awareness. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (65th, San Antonio, TX, November 10-13, 1979)