Definition And Importance Of Communication English Language Essay

Communication is like a span between people, the manner in which it happens depending really much on the art of communicating, the creativeness of the human existences, the message of the communicating and on the context in which it takes topographic point. Because of its complexness, communicating has been defined in many ways, some definitions being “ wide and inclusive, others restrictive ” ( Littlejohn, Foss, 2008:3 ) : “ The procedure that links discontinuous parts of the life universe to one another ” ( Ruesch, 1957:462 ) , “ A system for pass oning information and order ” ( Webster ‘s Third New International Dictionary, 1986:460 ) , “ A participative, bipartisan sharing of apprehension, committedness and intent, taking to allow action ” ( Robbins et Al, 2000:633 ) .

Communication is an interdisciplinary construct as it is approached from different Fieldss such as linguistics, psychological science, ecology, mathematics, etc. , enabling us to convey and portion facts, thoughts, informations, feelings, attitudes. It plays a cardinal function in all the Fieldss of activity, therefore it should be effectual so as to be an component of success for every relationship, organisation, meeting, research, etc. Still, there are many barriers to effectual communicating ( e.g. linguistic communication, inappropriate pick of words/channel, different cultural backgrounds, difference in attitudes and values, etc. ) which lead to misinterpretations and failure in interaction. Communication is non based merely on a simple verbal interaction between people, but besides on the organic structure linguistic communication and the facial look which are besides agencies of pass oning a message. More than that, communicating and engineering have developed so much recently that we can even talk of signifiers of communicating that move from the traditional human signifiers toward impersonal communicating with entities to which we can non convey feelings or experiences, e.g. banking webs, computing machines, phones, etc. and we can besides talk non merely of human or impersonal communicating but besides of carnal communicating.

However, if we are to see a simple theoretical account of communicating which states that it is a procedure of information transportation from a transmitter to a receiving system via a medium, the procedure get downing from an interior province of the transmitter which produces the transportation of the signal and stoping with an interior province of the receiving system when the signal is delivered ( Shannon & A ; Weaver, 1949 ) , we can inquire ourselves if this simple theoretical account is suited for communicating in general, be it human, impersonal or animate being.

In their book “ Animal Signals ” Maynard Smith and Harper ( 2003:3 ) defined the signal as: “ any act or construction which alters the behavior of other beings, which evolved because of that consequence, and which is effectual because the receiving system ‘s response has besides evolved ” . Here, the signal is understood as holding a corresponding response, a alteration of behavior. Still, it may neglect sometimes, for illustration because of hapless design or noise. On the contrary, communicating means a successful achievement of the signalling act, so there is no such construct as failed communicating. Therefore, it is this possible failure that makes the clear differentiation between signalling and communicating. In the old definition, there is no mention to the impression of “ information ” but this does non intend that signalling does non utilize it. If we think of both impersonal and carnal signalling, the thought that the signal carries information is inexplicit, even Maynard Smith and Harper ( 1995:305 ) stated that: “ it is non evolutionarily stable for the receiving system to change its behavior unless, on norm, the signal carries information of value to it ” . Hence, information is carried but the relevancy of the signal is of import as the receiving system may disregard the signalling behavior if the signal is of no usage to him and has nil to derive from it. An of import difference between human communicating and animate being signals ( possibly we could even believe of this difference when mentioning to impersonal devices signalling ) is the presence of linguistic communication. Peoples are able to pass on with the aid of linguistic communication, holding the power of uniting and making different messages by utilizing symbols, words and their creativeness. More than that, people have ideas, desires, beliefs being able to demo and acknowledge their purposes to pass on, they may utilize different stimulations to pull the receiving system ‘s attending and to prosecute in activities with similar ends and aims. Animals, on the other manus, have no knowing system ( Davidson, 1982 ) and none of the above mentioned human traits. The address acts grade besides a difference between human communicating and animal/impersonal signals. The communicative Acts of the Apostless help us non merely to pass on but besides to act upon each other in assorted ways.

In decision, if we take into consideration the specialnesss of human communicating and the restrictions of animal/impersonal signalling, we can detect that there are similarities but besides differences, therefore it would be hard to state that a simple theoretical account would cover all instances. The general footings of human communicating being established, we turn to analyze other of import aspects/models of successful and effectual ( human ) communicating.

Features of communicating

Bipartisan procedure: The bipartisan procedure refers to a communicating where the participants take bends in being speaker-listener, writer-reader, the procedure being complete merely if there is a feedback from the receiving system to the transmitter on how good the message is understood.

Verbal and gestural: Verbal communicating uses sounds and linguistic communication to show thoughts and constructs while non-verbal communicating uses gestures, touch and body linguistic communication to direct and have wordless cues between people.

Language acquaintance: Effective communicating means that the transmitter must utilize a linguistic communication the receiving system is familiar with, otherwise the communicating will be a failure.

Interest in the message: The receiving system has to be interested in the topic the transmitter has to convey, so that the communicating procedure is successful.

Percept: There should be a consensus between the message that is sent and the 1 that is received. The intended significance has to be the same for an effectual communicating.

Continuity: Communication is uninterrupted because in everything we do, we have to convey or have information, the exchange of information being a uninterrupted procedure.

Formal or informal: Formal communicating conforms to set up professional regulations and criterions while informal communicating is insouciant, unofficial and does non conform to any ordinances.

Components of communicating

Communication becomes effectual when it achieves the coveted response from the receiving system. These are the constituents by agencies of which communicating can be effectual:

Context – every communicating starts with a context and is affected by the context in which it occurs. The context could be cultural, societal, physical, etc. and it is the transmitter who chooses the message to pass on within such a context.

Sender/encoder – This is the individual who conveys the message. He/she uses words, ocular AIDSs or organic structure linguistic communication to direct the message and produced the desires response, the verbal or gestural symbols chosen being indispensable for a right reading of the message by the receiving system.

Message – The message is the kernel of what the transmitter wants to pass on and it is the get downing point of the communicating procedure because the transmitter starts by be aftering the message he/she wants to convey.

Medium – It is the channel which is used to carry on the communicative act. It is indispensable to take the right medium in order to hold an effectual communicating.

Receiver/decoder – This is the individual to whom the message is addressed, the apprehension of the message depending besides on the relationship between the transmitter and the receiving system, but besides on the trust that the encoder has on the decipherer.

Feedback – Feedback is really of import for the communicating procedure as the transmitter has the possibility of analyzing the efficaciousness of the message and to understand if the message has been interpreted right.

Models of communicating

There are many codification theoretical accounts for understanding the communicating procedure and it would be hard to see all of them in this paper, therefore we are traveling to see merely some important theoretical accounts which serve the intent of understanding the procedure of communicating.


The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle was the first to give a theoretical account of communicating. Integrating few elements, his theoretical account is suited for public speech production ( ) .


Harmonizing to this theoretical account, the speaker/sender has the most of import function in communicating, taking complete charge, carefully fixing and showing his ideas in order to act upon the listener/receiver. Aristotle ‘s theoretical account is the most common theoretical account for public speech production where the message is sent to act upon the receiving systems and do them move consequently.

Shannon and Weaver ( 1949 )

Claude E. Shannon was an electrical applied scientist and mathematician who published a paper which referred to a theory of chance for measuring the success of electronic transmittal of information, a construct which became known as the information/communication theory. His theoretical account was based on five components involved in the procedure of communicating:

1. An information beginning which produces a message or a sequence of messages to be communicated to the having terminus. aˆ¦

2. A sender which operates on the message in some manner to bring forth a signal suitable for transmittal over the channel. aˆ¦

3. The channel is simply the medium used to convey the signal from sender to receiver. aˆ¦ During transmittal, or at one of the terminuss, the signal may be perturbed by noise.aˆ¦

4. The receiving system normally performs the reverse operation of that done by the sender, retracing the message from the signal. aˆ¦

5. The finish is the individual ( or thing ) for whom the message is intended. ( Shannon, 1948:380, 1949:4 ) .

In 1949 Shannon ‘ s theory was reviewed by Warren Weaver who really extended the term communicating, utilizing it in a really wide sense and doing the apprehension of the theory easier for those who were non familiar with mathematics. Shannon and Weaver published a work together “ The Mathematical Theory of Communication ” which contributed significantly to the application of the communicating theory within different Fieldss.



Roman Jakobson ( 1960 )

Jakobson ‘s theoretical account of the maps of linguistic communication makes a differentiation between six factors of communicating that are necessary for the communicating to take topographic point: addresser, message, addressee, context, codification and contact.

The ADDRESSER sends a Message to the ADDRESSEE. To be operative, the message requires a CONTEXT referred to ( “ referent ” in another, slightly equivocal, terminology ) , seizable by the addressee, and either verbal or capable of being verbalized ; a CODE to the full, or at least partly, common to the addresser and addressee ( or in other words to the encoder and decipherer of the message ) ; and, eventually, a CONTACT, a physical channel and psychological connexion between the addresser and the addressee, enabling both of them to come in and remain in communicating. ( Jakobson, 1960:353 ) .





Harmonizing to Jakobson ( 1960 ) each of these factors determines a different map of linguistic communication ( termed by him as referential, affectional, conative, phatic, metalingual and poetic ) , each verbal message carry throughing more than one of these maps.

M. A. K. Halliday ( 1978 )

David Crystal ( 2003 )

In “ A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics ” Crystal defines communicating utilizing a authoritative discrepancy of the theoretical account of communicating.

Communication refers to the transmittal of INFORMATION ( a ‘message ‘ ) between a beginning and receiving system utilizing a signalling system: in lingual contexts, beginning and receiving system are interpreted in human footings, the system involved is a LANGUAGE, and the impression of response to ( or recognition of ) the message becomes of important importance. In theory, communicating is said to hold taken topographic point if the information received is the same as that sent ( Crystal, 2003:85 ) .




Message Comprehension

Possible diagram of Crystal ‘s theoretical account

The illustrations presented here turn out the long being of the different theoretical accounts, each of them holding a form of development, a part and an influence on the procedure of communicating. However, an of import facet of the communicative procedure is linguistic communication which helps us to pass on, to really convey the message to other persons, to interact and make systems for pass oning. In general linguistics, linguistic communication is analysed as a formal system, Noam Chomsky ( 1975 ) mentioning to it as being innate, a biological necessity and a extremely abstracted single competency. Still, when communication, people do non trust merely on the regulations of linguistic communication as a formal system, but besides on the environment, the societal context and the cognition they have of the subject. Even if linguists like Chomsky or Pinker claim that people are somehow “ wired ” to linguistic communication, people besides have the ability to go cognizant and to react to the environmental cues when utilizing the linguistic communication. It is because of these abilities and reactions that linguistic communication plays an of import function in communicating and has an impact on human interaction. Language performs many communicative maps, one of the chief maps being the communicating of information, and even if there have been many efforts to give some general regulations for the chief maps of linguistic communication, the consequences have been inconsistent, this functional attack being “ less good documented ” ( Brown and Yule, 1983:1 ) . Brown and Yule used merely two footings to mention to the chief maps of linguistic communication, the differentiation being made between “ transactional linguistic communication ” and “ interactive linguistic communication ” , which really correspond to the categorizations “ representative/expressive ” found in Buhler ( 1934 ) , “ referential/emotive ” ( Jakobson, 1960 ) , “ ideational/interpersonal ” ( Halliday, 1970b ) and “ descriptive/social-expressive ( Lyons, 1977 ) . Harmonizing to Brown and Yule ( 1983 ) , transactional linguistic communication is that linguistic communication which is efficient, the talker ( or author ) holding in head “ the efficient transference of information ” , the receiving system holding to acquire the message right, as there is no topographic point for misunderstanding because of the awful effects that it may hold, for illustration a instructor giving the incorrect information to pupils at the beginning of an test or a fireman misleading his co-workers during a fire. Interactional linguistic communication refers to the linguistic communication used in mundane conversations or societal relationships, the sociologists and sociolinguists being the 1s concerned with “ the usage of linguistic communication to set up and keep societal relationships ” ( Brown and Yule, 1983:3 ) . Everyday conversations are more capable to interactive than transactional usage of linguistic communication, phrases like “ Awful conditions, is n’t it. ” or “ That ‘s a nice shirt/blouse ” proposing the talker ‘s purpose to develop a conversation and be friendly non his/her purpose to convey a message. Colloquial analysts such as Brown and Levinson ( 1978 ) believe that understanding and a common point of position are indispensable for this type of linguistic communication, repeat being one of the agencies by which understanding is emphasised.

A differentiation has to be made here between spoken linguistic communication which is by and large considered to be more interpersonal than enlightening, and written linguistic communication which is considered to be chiefly transactional. Spoken and written linguistic communication are produced otherwise and with different effects.

Spoken versus written linguistic communication

There are differences between the spoken and the written linguistic communication which refer non merely to the manner that they are produced and to their effects, but besides to their development and independency. Language is considered to be a natural ability, the capacity to get it being unconditioned. Still, the positions are different when mentioning to talk or written linguistic communication. There are many linguists who believe that written linguistic communication is a human innovation and non a natural ability. Darwin ( 1871 ) wrote about the inherent aptitude of talking that we can detect even with small kids while there is no such replete as composing that can be observed with kids. Saussure ( 1916 ) stated that composing exist merely to stand for address, while Bloomfield ( 1933 ) claimed that authorship is merely a manner in which speech production can be recorded, there being no such term as written linguistic communication. Even if this position about authorship has been sustained by many celebrated linguists, it is non universally accepted. Linguists from the Prague Linguistic Circle, such as Pulgram ( 1965 ) or Vachek ( 1973, 1989 ) , view written linguistic communication as an independent system equal to talk linguistic communication, the two systems reciprocally act uponing each other.

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