What is Speech? Definition, Meaning And Examples in English Grammar

We explain what is speech and what are the components of this human capacity. In addition, their disorders and theories of speech act.

What is speech?

The word speaks comes from the Latin word fable , which refers to the ability to speak , typical of the human being. This is a faculty that people begin to develop gradually, expanding their vocabulary in the course of childhood.

The societies over time build different languages, which function as eligible instruments and are transmitted by the own community, through which individuals can communicate with each other. While language is the set of signs and rules with which that code understood by all manifests itself, speech is the individual appropriation of language, which is acquired in a much more passive way.

This distinction was formalized by Ferdinand de Saussure, the Swiss linguist father of semiology, which is the discipline that deals with signs (and understands them as both acoustic-concept images) and their social behavior.

Speech components

Talk - talk
Fluency is the rhythm with which messages are transmitted.
  • Joint.  It is the way in which the sounds of a letter are generated.
  • Voice.  Use of the vocal cord system and breathing to speak.
  • Fluency.  Rhythm with which messages are transmitted.

Speech disorders

It consists of problems that prevent a subject from making proper use of the voice, not being able to make sounds correctly, or because of the shape or rhythm. It is often confused with language disorders, but they are not the same, since the latter is related to the understanding of what others say. Although both types of pathologies can occur simultaneously.

Some examples of speech disorders are dysrhythmias and stuttering.

Theory of speech acts

In direct acts, the speaker clearly expresses his intention to speak.

Regarding the philosophy of human language, one of the first authors to deepen the speech was John Austin, who developed the well-known theory about speech acts. This theory includes oral communication between one person and another, understanding that the message is captured and produces an effect on the recipient.

Austin’s first classification is done according to the function of the sentence:

  • Announcements the statements themselves, any of the acts based on saying something. Its components are three, the phonetic, which corresponds to the emission of sounds, the factual, which is the combination of words in sentences, and the rhetoric, which is the use of those words in the form of meaning and cohesion. ” The doctor told me ‘take these pills’ ” would be a sentence of this kind.
  • Ilocutorios. in the facet of the intention contained in the statement, in the force that will end up producing an effect on the recipient. Inform, warn, threaten, promise, or order, among others: ‘The doctor advised me to take a few days off‘ Within this dimension corresponding to the intention, two actions are distinguished that will be very different: direct and indirect.
  • Direct acts are those in which the speaker clearly expresses his intention in speaking. The so-called  primary locator act’ is mentioned.
  • Indirect acts are those that the intention must be interpreted by the receiver. It will be a reading ‘between the lines, which will generate a secondary locator act: (before the question of going to dance) ‘I have a lot to study
  • Perlocutory is the dimension that deals with the effects that the word will necessarily have on the recipient. It is the dimension that focuses on the interlocutor and will vary according to who this is. ‘ The doctor convinced me to take a few days off

In the case of the sequences of several speech acts, organized in the form of dialogue, a new act can be detached. It is the macro-speech act, which will be a brief summary, the main and main part of the process of several speeches acts, performed by one or several people. An example of this could be an invitation to a place or a promise. The macro-act of speech may also be direct or indirect, depending on whether or not there is an explanation.

Depending on their purpose, acts can be classified as:

  • Assertive acts are when the speaker uses them to affirm or deny something, talking about reality.
  • Expressive acts are those that verbalize an emotional or physical state.
  • Management acts in them the main facet is the intention, in the sense of convincing something, whether of an idea or a way of acting.
  • Committing acts.  in which the speaker affirms directly or indirectly the assumption of a responsibility, which aims to perform some activity.

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