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The Encode-Decode Model of Communication

The encode-decode model of communication implies that if a speaker and listener both share the same code – a common language – then communication is possible. Language allows humans to translate thoughts into strings of sounds, syllables and words, and to translate strings of sounds, syllables and words into thoughts. There are, though, a number of difficulties with this model as applied to human communication.

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Transcribing Conversation

To analyze conversation, audio data is typically transcribed into a written form that is amenable to analysis. There are two general approaches. The first is a more detailed method that captures the minutiae of conversational interaction, known as a narrow transcription. The second requires less detail and is known as a broad transcription. This article provides examples of both methods and introduces a format for visually displaying the relative distribution of speaker participation in conversations.

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Communicative Competence

Competence It has been suggested that our ‘linguistic competence’ (Chomsky, 1965) consists simply of the ability to construct ‘well-formed sentences’. The sociolinguist Del Hymes (1979) considered this notion to be far too narrow, and proposed the term ‘communicative competence’ to account for speakers’ ability to use language…

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Communication Theory

Communication theory seeks to explain the production of information, how this is transmitted, the methods used to deliver it, and how meaning is thereby created and shared. Theories are collections of logical assumptions and rules which predict how a phenomenon will behave. Models are conceptual frameworks that describe the application of a theory to particular cases. These differences are highlighted with reference to Information Theory. Communication theory can be subdivided into: intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, organizational and public. An example of each of these subdivisions is provided.

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Child-directed Speech

Caregivers unconsciously modify their speech when talking to babies and infants. Sometimes known as motherese or parentese, this linguistic behavior is now commonly known as child-directed speech. It is typified by such things as the adult speaking in monologues, using grammatically simple structures and using exaggerated intonation.

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Communication Capacity

Communication capacity is a speaker’s ability to successfully encode and decode messages, and the ability of the transmission channel to successfully transmit those messages.

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