National open university of nigeria school of arts and social sciences

Download 0.49 Mb.
View original pdf
Size0.49 Mb.
1   ...   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   ...   107
ENG223 Discourse Analysis
Self Assessment Exercises

Discuss the role of context in the construction of a text.

3.3 Speech and Writing
Speech and writing are the primary medium of language use. Speech however is the oldest form of language use and writing is said to be a derived form of speech. The fact that there are still a good number of languages that do not have any written form is a pointer to the fact that speech predates language inhuman history. Gestures are also forms of language, but they are seen by linguists as primarily complementing speech. There is a branch of Linguistics that studies signs, and this branch is called Semiotics.

20 In this section, we shall look through some of the features of speech and writing and how they are studied in Discourse Analysis. Speech is the primary medium of human communication. It can be said to be as old as human existence. Children automatically learn to speak because there is an inbuilt mechanism in humans that makes them to acquire whichever language is spoken in their immediate environment. Most people speak more than they write, because every human society builds relationships through speech. Speech simply refers to oral medium of transmission of language. It is the meaningful oral sound produced through the use of our respiratory, phonatory and articulatory system and perceived by our auditory system. Humans express thoughts, feelings, and ideas orally to one another through a series of complex articulation, which results in specific, decodable sounds. Speech is produced by precisely coordinated muscle actions in the head, neck, chest, and abdomen. Speech development is a gradual process that requires years of practice. During this process, a child learns how to regulate these muscles to produce understandable speech. Speech is spontaneous, so it is characterized by repetitions of speech sounds, hesitations before and during communication, and the prolonged emphasis of speech sounds. Speech, especially a casual one is susceptible to errors or slips, hence the expression slip of the tongue This occurs when we say things we do not intend to say. Speakers many times self-correct their speech, when they are aware that they did not produce the correct utterance. People’s origin and identity are very often recognized from their speech. They either speak with a particular accent or intonation. Most times when people speak, one is able to identify their social roles and gender. Speech is transient and time bound which basically means that when someone speaks to you, it doesn’t really stay in your memory for that long which gives it a disadvantage. Certain human behaviours aid speech. They include body language, gesture and facial expressions and people use these modes without even realizing it. Speaking is as fundamental apart of being human as walking upright but writing is an optional extra. Writing, on the other hand is a product of a more careful thought, so it is expected as much as possible to be flawless. It is not a spontaneous act rather it is a well thought out process. Children have to be taught how to write any particular language, even their mother tongue. Unlike speech that uses the medium of phonic substance, writing uses the medium of graphic substance. Written words can be chosen with greater deliberation and thought, and a written argument can be extraordinarily sophisticated, intricate, and lengthy. These attributes of writing are possible because the pace of involvement is controlled by both the writer and the reader. The writer can write and rewrite at great length, a span of time, which in some cases can be measured in years. In writing, there is a time lag between the production and reception, while in speech, the reception is instant and extralinguistic cues help the listener to interpret. Writing is more associated with formality than speech. The chances are that we write more often to people we are less familiar with than the ones we are familiar.


Download 0.49 Mb.

Share with your friends:
1   ...   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   ...   107

The database is protected by copyright © 2023
send message

    Main page