The Importance Of Breaking The Phonological Rule Of Verbal Communication

1885 Words 8 Pages
For my first “rule breaking” exercise, I used my family to experiment with breaking the phonological rule of verbal communication. I purposefully mispronounced names of places and objects while conversing with my mother, father, and brother. Each time I mispronounced something I was met by one of two different responses: amusement or annoyance. At first, my family members were amused when I seemed ignorant to the correct pronunciation, but as I broke the phonological rule more and more they became annoyed. Their verbal responses started off by patiently correcting me or laughing. Their nonverbals, in the areas of vocalics, facial expressions, and oculesics, also started off kinder. With normal pitch, volume, smiling, and using welcoming and …show more content…
Verbal rules seem to have a slightly less strict following than nonverbals. When breaking the phonological rule and semantic rule, I was corrected or met with confusion, but I also received responses of humor. My family was at first amused by my breaking of the phonological rules, but became annoyed. Beca’s responses were a variation of amused and confused when I broke the semantic rule. Contrastingly, within communication contexts where I experimented with breaking nonverbal rules, I was met with confusion, annoyance, distrust, but no amusement. When I experimented with proxemics, and violated the spatial zones with a stranger, they became irritated and uncomfortable. And when I used the nonverbal channel of facial displays to send contradicting messages, I received responses of distrust and confusion. By this evidence, it seems nonverbals are taken more seriously than verbals. This could be because nonverbals metacommunicate and are usually believed over nonverbals. Like how my language conveyed my peers’ paper to be good, but they instead believed my nonverbal communication that metacommunicated my verbal response was a lie. It could also be that nonverbals communicate more information than verbals. Like how sitting too close to a stranger, and using no verbal communication, maybe was perceived that I was …show more content…
Nonverbals can contradict verbals, as my experiment with my peers and reviewing their paper proves. Since my facial display did not match my verbal response, my peers thought I might be lying. By the principle of facial primacy, facial displays communicate more information than any other channel of communication. And since nonverbals are believed more often than verbals, my peers viewed the communicative contradiction as lying. Verbals and nonverbals can also reinforce each other, as my family’s response to breaking the phonological rule displayed. I knew they were annoyed not because they asked me to stop, but because their nonverbals displayed annoyance. Language is just symbols, but more information about these symbols can be interpreted by expressing emotions, like annoyance, through both facial and vocal expressions of emotion, as my family did. Nonverbals can also substitute verbals, as Beca did with her “blank stare” when she didn’t understand what I meant when breaking the semantic rule. Instead of verbally saying “I do not understand”, Beca used oculesics to convey her confusion. All of these examples reinforce how verbal and nonverbal communication can support, contradict, or substitute each

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