Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nonverbal communication

What I've found interesting in this class isn't the value of verbal or even written language, but rather body language. At the beginning of the class during the discussion in two different languages, I honestly felt that more communication was achieved through gestures than words.

Nonverbal communication adds yet another facet to determining our identity, if we assume that how we communicate with others includes our clothing, hairstyle, etc. And, since it’s more superficial than our verbal communication (is it?), it adds a new perspective to consider when we ask ourselves how much our identity depends on how we use language to present ourselves to our world.


Jacob I. McMillan said...

I think spoken language is at least every bit as superficial as the nonverbal kind. I'd say they're two separate ways to achieve the same end; one may not be as exact or interpretable as the other, but working in conjunction they both serve to illuminate meaning in ways that are unique to each. The problem is body language tends to be unwritten, so it seems to work almost on the subliminal level. You rarely think to yourself "x gesture means y" but on some hidden level your mind understands it perfectly.

Jorgen [is disappearing] said...

Nonverbal communication is definitely huge. Everyone is skeptical of words when it really comes down to it. When it comes to proving that you love or hate somebody with a passion, actions speak louder than words.

I'd like to take a look at some sort of anthropological "Linguistics of the Body" or something. With ASL (or any sign language), body tone means just as much as vocal tone for those speaking.

armycoug said...

I think that we have become a culture too afraid of offering offense so we speak mistruths instead. This has lead to the need of reading body language as a real-time lie detector.

Body language is really one of the only truthful forms of communication that we haven't found a fool proof way of minipulating.