ERIC Number: ED246488
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
On Distinguishing Competence from Performance in Studies of Human Communication.
Sanders, Robert E.
Given that overt linguistic behavior is not an adequate or primary datum for linguistic theory and that linguistic theory cannot directly account for overt linguistic behavior, human language can be seen as an abstract system that relates (graphic or phonetic) surface representations of sentences and underlying grammatical forms and semantic interpretations, not as a collection of behaviors or even a set of rules and conventions for producing and understanding such behaviors. Linguistic theory is about such abstract systems. However, given that speakers and hearers must know such a system to speak and understand the language at all, a linguistic theory is functionally an account of the competence to undertake linguistic behavior. The ability to work out messages that have goal-relevant constraining effects depends minimally on the following: (a) the accurate projection of the interpretive consequences of a contemplated message; (b) the accurate interpretation of messages by the audience, especially those indicative of their traits and dispositions, in order to predict their interpretations and responses; and (c) a cognitive distinction between intrinsically valued messages and instrumentally valued messages, and the subordination of the former to the latter when there is a conflict. (CRH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Response; Theory Development
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (69th, Washington, DC, November 10-13, 1983).