Speech And Its Role In Our Society English Language Essay

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In this paper the problem of the standards of speech will be discussed. Also such questions as the language and society, etiquette of speech, oratory, indirect speech acts, principles of communication will be examined.

Ability to make best use of communicative functions of language forms what is called the standards of speech. Language standards characterize the degree to which people speak the language and are able to realize its expressive possibilities in order to deliver a speech form that corresponds to its content and objectives.

In the speech standards there are two main factors:

1) compliance with generally accepted linguistic norms;

2) features of individual style of speech.

Standard speech must be "correct", "grammatical", "literary". However, in real life conversation does not always correspond to these factors. There are various forms of deviation from the "correct" speech, such as the popular language, jargon, etc. If following the norms of literary language ensures the correctness of speech, the improvement of individual style leads to verbal skills, the development of art speech. The high standard of speech includes not only its accuracy, but the ability to choose the most effective, most appropriate for this situation linguistic means.

In the course of his development, a person more and more completely masters the language and the standards of communication. A person in society tends to acquire attitudes, perspectives and habits of the people with whom he is interested in communicating. He tends to "sample" prevailing in the minds of native speakers, trying to act according to the rules of communicative roles of the speaker and listener. He is trying to acquire oral and written forms of communication as it is done by native speakers. The speaker tries to comply with "general line" of verbal behavior. The accepted norms and conventions of public life most directly affect the nature of verbal behavior. In any society, certain speech acts are allowed, others - are not allowed. But in any case, the speaker is trying not to offend the other person, not to degrade him, but rather, to express his respect and show kindness. That is, the communicants should express intercultural competence, which can be understood as the integration of speech acts and extralinguistic knowledge, and that includes language and - increasingly - communicative competence, knowledge of foreign culture.

Under the standards of speech the totality of such qualities that have the best impact on the recipient, taking into account the specific situation and in accordance with the task is understood. These qualities include: substance, consistency, evidence, the clarity and understandability, credibility, clarity of speech.

According to Krahn and Reimer (1989) it should be noted that language standard is a relatively young branch of linguistics. As an independent branch of this science, it took shape under the influence of radical social changes that have occurred. Familiarization of the masses with the active society spatial activities requires greater attention to the improvement of their oral standards.

What is the content of section of the science about language, which is called the "Standard of Speech"? In it, as in "Stylistics", we study the speech, but only from a different point of view. Stylistics answers the questions: What are the styles of speech? How do they differ from each other? What language features are characteristic for each style? But in the same style, people make different statements on quality, some of them will be successful, others will be less successful, others - completely failed. Speech standards occupy with the quality evaluation of speech. Like a branch of linguistics it considers the following questions: How a man uses speech for communication? What is his speech: correct or incorrect? How to improve it?

In modern linguistics, there are two levels of human speech standards - the lowest and the highest. For the lowest level, for the first step of mastering the literary language, correct speech, respect for the literary language are enough. There exist such norms as lexical, pronouncing (phonetic), grammatical, word-forming, morphological, syntactical. Lexical rules are fixed in dictionaries as an interpretation of the meaning of words and their compatibility with other words, the remaining rules are disclosed in manuals of grammar, literary language, special dictionaries, reference books.

Blum-Kulka (1989) said: if a person does not admit mistakes in the pronunciation, in using of forms of the words, in their formation and sentence structure, his speech is called correct. However, this is not enough. It may be correct but bad, that is, not to consistent with the objectives and conditions of communication. The concept of good speech includes at least three signs: the wealth, the accuracy and the expressiveness. The indicators of the rich speech are the large volume of vocabulary, variety of the employed morphological forms and syntactic constructions. The accuracy of speech is the choice of such language means that express the content of statements, disclose the subject and the main thought in the best way.

As it was mentioned by Young, Becker & Pike (1970), expressiveness is created by means of selection of linguistic resources appropriate in the best way to conditions and tasks of communication. If a person has a right and good speech, he reaches the highest level of speech standards. This means that he does not only admit mistakes, but also knows how to build statements in the best way in accordance with the purpose of communication, select the most suitable in each case words and constructions, taking into account, to whom and under what circumstances he refers to.

The high level of the speech standard is an inalienable feature of a cultured person. Tuckerman (1995) said that to improve the speech is a task for each of us. To do this it is needed to follow the speech to avoid errors in pronunciation, in the forms of the words used, in constructing the sentences. It is necessary to constantly enrich the dictionary, to learn to feel the companion, to be able to select the most suitable for each case words and constructions.

The problem of "Language and Society" is broad and multifaceted. First of all, language is social in nature. Its main function is to be a means, a tool of human communication. On the basis of this function, and in connection with it another language functions are realized - the function of the impact, of the messages, of formation and expression of thought. These functions are also social.

It is possible to say that society has such language, which is created by the society, and it uses the language as it can and could. The influence of the language on the society is enhanced with the development of the society itself - this effect increases with the development of production, technology, science, culture and the state. The language participates in the organization of labor, in the management of social production, of the activities of agencies, in the implementation of the educational process and training of members of the society, in the development of literature and science.

Society affects the language, but the language, in its turn, affects the society, participating in different areas of life and human activities.

Our society that has not still largely come to the hostel rules, already felt the need for the culture of behavior and communication. Every now and then there are announcements, communications, advertisements about the fact that in high schools, colleges, schools the electives with the names "Etiquette," "Business Etiquette", "Diplomatic etiquette", "Etiquette of business communication", etc are opened. It is connected with the need of people to learn how to behave in a particular situation, how to properly install and maintain the speech, and through it the business, friendly, etc. contact.

The wide definition of culture necessarily includes what is called a culture of communication, culture of verbal behavior. To possess it, it is important to understand the essence of the speech etiquette.

In communication people pass each other one way or other information, one or another sense, tell something, encourage to something, ask about something, perform certain speech acts. However, before proceeding to the exchange of logical and meaningful information, it is necessary to enter into verbal contact, but it is done according to certain rules. We do not almost notice them because they are accustomed. Notable is just the violation of unwritten rules, like: the acquaintance did not greet at the meeting, someone was not thanked for the service, was not apologized for the wrongdoing. Typically, such non-fulfilment of the norms of behavior turns into resentment, and sometimes quarrel, the conflict in the team. It is therefore important to pay attention to the rules of entry into the speech contact, maintenance of such contact - because the business relationships are not possible without this. It is clear that understanding of the rules of communication and verbal behavior is useful for all, especially for people of those professions that are associated with speech. These are teachers, doctors and lawyers, service workers and businessmen, and just the parents.

Berlo (1960) demonstrated that the rules of verbal behavior are regulated by the speech etiquette, by the system, prevailing in language and speech, of fixed expressions used in situations of establishing and maintaining contact. These are situations of treatment, greetings, farewells, apologies, thanks, congratulations, wishes, sympathy and condolences, approval and compliments, invitations, suggestions, requests for the advice and many others. The speech etiquette embraces everything that is friendly to the other party, that can create good and pleasant climate of communication. Rich set of language features allows you to choose the pertinent for the speech situation and a favorable for the interlocutor form of communication, establish a friendly, relaxed, or on the contrary, an official tone of conversation.

It is important to emphasize that in the speech etiquette the social information is transmitted to the speaker and his addressee, if they are familiar or not, about the relationship of equality / inequality by age, occupation, their personal relationships (if they are familiar), about in what environment (formal or informal) the communication takes place, etc.

Of course, it is necessary to study the speech etiquette in the study of foreign languages, but one must also know his own etiquette, and it needs to be tought from the early childhood, in the family, kindergarten, school, and in high school, already professionally orienting a person in accordance with what speech situations will be the most typical in the workplace of the person.

Oratory is an art of a practical verbal effects, giving us the opportunity to use skillfully the word as a tool of thought and persuasion. The field for the rhetorical activity is immense: how to organize the speech for the teachers? How to make a declaration of love? how to speak in parliament? On these and many other questions the science forgotten in the country and in need of rehabilitation - rhetoric, should answer. For many centuries it was the norm of culture, one of the classical humanitarian disciplines, studying the person acting with speech and recommending the rules of clever, expedient and persuasive speech.

What was the impetus for the revival of rhetoric and stepped the attention to it? It should be noted that today the named items have become popular in many colleges and universities. Miller (2001) admitted that the fact is that in recent decades the communicational, and accordingly, the language situation in society has dramatically changed. There are new ways of storing and processing verbal information, where the auditory and audiovisual sources of speech became to dominate (radio, television, telephone), ie, the speech in its absolutely new variations. The visual sources of speech acquired new qualities, greatly expanding and enriching the situational-thematical areas of the application of written speech (eg, writing functioning in a computer). And if until recent times the problems of the formation of language skills were relevant, as a rule, for the professions associated with the so-called humanities, and for teaching a foreign language, now almost in front of the entire system of education the task of developing of skills and abilities of the oral tradition is faced.

Today, it is important not only to be able to construct the oral statement, convincingly defending the own position (of course, with the respect to the rules of the speech communication), but also to be able to understand another's speech and adequately react at it.

And if at the contact communication the listener may regulate the rate of the new information, reasking the interlocutor (lecturer), asking him to speak more slowly, to comment on some statements that are not very clear, at a distant perception of the speech (radio, television) this is not possible. Conley (1990) stated that the listener is forced to perceive it at a speed, linguistic design and volume that do not take into account his individual capacity.

In connection with this we should recall that the ancient rhetoric, focused mainly on legal and parade speeches, was redeveloped in the Middle Ages, based chiefly on the composition of letters and sermons, and in the Renaissance and Classicism it was applicable with respect to any art prose.

Unfortunately, the modern rhetoric by its content and methods used - remains at approximately the same level as that of a century ago. It does not take into account, firstly, the new challenges and historical realities, and secondly, the results of research in related disciplines such as data of linguodidactics about the temporal characteristics of speech and the optimal duration of the sound of texts in different situations and with different sources of information, the data of linguistics about the specifics of the lexical grammatical design of ideas in different situations of communication. But the similar information obtained as a result of scientific research investigations, has been successfully used by the experts in the field of learning of languages.

More and more often in everyday life we meet the indirect forms of verbal interaction that are possible in the presence of the general principles of respect for the interlocutor, avoiding all sorts of interference in communication. In other words, it is necessary to comply with the principles of cooperation. This principle is the basic principle of communication.

According to Grice (1975) we see that the more concrete idea about the essence of the principles of cooperation is given by the categories of quantity, quality, attitude and fashion.

At this the category of quantity is expressed by the fact that at this stage of the dialogue the utterance must not contain more or less information than it is required. The category of the quality is expressed in the truth of the utterance. The category of relations is characterized by the fact that we should stick to the topic of conversation. The category of fashion is reflected in the clarity of expression. In order to achieve the clarity of expression, the speaker should strive to comply with several private postulates, such as to avoid obscure expressions, ambiguity, he should try to be concise and organized.

While respecting the principle of cooperation the communication is the most effective. Monitoring the compliance with these postulates in the process of communication may be carried out not only by the interlocutor, but also by the speaker himself.

Another important principle that governs the communication process is the principle of politeness. The principle of politeness is an integral part of the communicative code. This principle aims at preventing conflicts. Principle of politeness is concretized by six maxims: tact, generosity, approval, humility, harmony and sympathy. The principle of cooperation is directed towards the encyclopedic pictures of the world and the principle of politeness is directed toward the concept of frames.

To make a conclusion we should ay that language and speech are not something frozen and unchangeable. They is in perpetual motion, because a variety of various factors both external, they are called, ekstralinguistic and internal - linguistic is constantly influencing on the speaking people.

Language is an essential means of understanding of people. And if language did not maintain its unity, it would not be able to perform this vital function.

Such is the miraculous power of the word. It is particularly important and valid in complex communication situations. The word may be the strongest weapon, not only in the hands of the unscrupulous, self-serving demagogues. It can be even more powerful weapon in the hands of the militants. And although they use it, but they are not always aware of the power of words - as destructive and creative.

They do not always know, especially in difficult communication conditions, how it is possible to neutralize, to expose the false and malicious "antiword" and how to give the true power of the word. And even knowing it they do not always find the courage, responsibility and perseverance necessary for solving such problems. And even finding it they do not always possess the art of the subtle and effective speech.

So in our work we have discussed the problem of the standards of speech, examined the questions of the language and society, defined the role of the speech etiquette, remembered the role of such science as rhetoric and learned about the main principles of the communication.

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