What is language?
It is an open-ended system of communication.
It is able to capture new experiences.
A finite system of arbitrary symbols
These symbols can be combined following rules of grammar in infinite ways
What is paralanguage?
Paralanguage includes those sounds made by the human voice
In the process of communicating
That complement the words themselves
Is not just an addition to the spoken language
Can and often changes the meaning of the words used
Almost impossible to separate language from its paralinguistic elements.
According to an influential study by Albert Mehrabian:
7% of a person’s attitude/emotion is verbally conveyed
93% is nonverbally conveyed
55% is from facial expressions
38% of this is paralanguage
The Elements of Paralanguage:
1. Voice Qualifiers:
Inflection: rising or falling of voice
Pacing: Slow to fast
Intensity: Strength of expression (breathy, loud, soft)
Tone: Whether it is nasally, whinny or growling
Pitch: the changes in the voice from high to low
Vocal characterizers: laughing, crying, mumbling, moaning
Vocal segregates: vocal pauses like um, oh, ah, oh oh, and silent pauses
Paralanguage plays a crucial role in responses to and evaluations of others:
a. We can recognized people by they’re voice
b. In our culture a deep voice is associated with authority, sophistication
and, of course, masculinity
c. The most attractive voices vary their pitch, tone and intensity but
d. People with a high pitched voice are seen as
i. A preconceived and oversimplified idea of the characteristics
which typify a person, situation ii. May be so consistently and authoritatively transmitted in each
generation from parent to child that it seems almost like a
f. Extrovert: (Fluent in personality) v