Paralinguistic features of languages
Good morning, everyone. Today we'll continue our discussion on describing language.
Last week we examined such features of language as grammar, vocabulary, the sounds of language, etc.
In this lecture, we'll look at another important aspect of language. Perhaps some of you may wonder what is this important aspect of language.
Let me tell you. It refers to features of communication that takes place without the use of grammar and vocabulary. They are called "paralinguistic features of language".
These features fall into two broad categories: those that involve voice and those that involve the body.
Now, the first category, is what we call vocal paralinguistic features. Vocal features are actually tones of voice.
While they are, perhaps, not central to meaning in communication in the same way as grammar or vocabulary, they may, nevertheless, convey attitude or intention in some way.
Let me give you some examples. The first is whispering, which indicates the needs for secrecy. The second is breathiness. This is to show deep emotion.
The third is huskiness, which is to show unimportance. The fourth is nasality. This is to indicate anxiety.
The last is extra lip-rounding, which expresses greater intimacy, especially with babies, for example.
So we can see that there are a number of ways of altering our tone of voice. And when we do this consciously, we do it to create different effects in communication.