Nonverbal Communication

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GRIN Verlag, 2008 - 48 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject Communications - Intercultural Communication, grade: 2, University of Luneburg, course: Conflict Talk: Sociolinguistics Meets Pragmatics, 27 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: 1. Introduction Nonverbal communication accompanies us mostly unconsciously every day. We do not think what kind of gestures or distance is appropriate in certain situations. However about 60 to 65 percent of all meaning created in human encounters derives from nonverbal cues (KNAPP:246). Studies of nonverbal communication can be traced back till times of the Roman Empire. The rhetorical treatises of Quintilian and Cicero already dealt with the meaning of hand gestures. However just in the seventeenth century with Bonifcio's and Bulwer's works gestures obtained a status "of a subject of its one right" (BULL:25). Yet elaborate study of nonverbal communication is only possible since sophisticated recording techniques have been developed which allow repeated viewing and analysis of human behaviour (for instance data gloves or video tapes). As a consequence studies of nonverbal communication developed rather lately. In the late fifties of the last century Edward HALL and Ray BIRDWHISTELL made first attempts to study nonverbal behaviour not only as a psychological function but as a means of communication. In general studies of nonverbal communication emerged as a reaction to the "overwhelming emphasis placed on verbal behaviour in the field of communication" (JONES/LEBARON:512). Subsequent a number of studies were conducted so that in the seventies nonverbal communication became an established topic (HELLER:2). In the nineties space and place received renewed interest.. This paper introduces the vast field of nonverbal communication. It is aimed at giving an overview of the different forms while focussing on proxemics, as "all behavior is located in and constructed of space"(LOW/ZUNIGA:1)

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