ERIC Number: ED196053
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
The Possible Contribution of Social Grammar of Language Analysis to Inter-Cultural Communication and the Avoidance of Misunderstanding.
Grayshon, Matthew C.
Different languages code messages in different ways and use different channels for sending messages; thus there are many places for misinterpreting and mishearing messages in an intercultural context. To move from one language to another requires a description of the total language communication system, one that has its universals in social and individual functions. Such a total language system attends to functions and channels such as words, word order (syntax), phonetic structures, paralinguistic features (tone, pitch, rhythm), facial expressions, posture, and head and body movements. Taking these and relating them to discourse analysis in a variety of languages, sociolinguists can build up descriptions of languages and classify languages. For example, work with West African tonal languages illustrates their differences from English in their levels of linguistic discourse to show social patterns. By approaching language study in this manner, sociolinguists can identify areas where misunderstandings occur across languages and cultures at nonawareness levels, and modify language instruction to circumvent these problems. (The descriptions of a social grammar and its elements and uses are illustrated by two anecdotal studies of English-West African sociolinguistic differences.) (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Intercultural Communication
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (30th, Acapulco, Mexico, May 18-23, 1980).