Volume 13, Issue 1 (2022)                   LRR 2022, 13(1): 1-27 | Back to browse issues page


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Pishghadam R, Ebrahimi S. Introducing Language Decoration: A Novel Approach beyond Communicative Competence. LRR 2022; 13 (1) :1-27
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-46832-en.html
1- Professor in TEFL & Educational Psychology, Department of English, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran , pishghadam@um.ac.ir
2- Assistant Professor of Persian Language Teaching, Department of Persian Language and Literature, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
Abstract:   (2840 Views)
Of the effective ways to have successful interactions, the proper use of words could be mentioned. The vocabulary items chosen by the speaker can act as conversation starters. Consciously chosen vocabulary items that are attractive and functional enough could make a profound impact on the audience. The success of the speaker's utterance is effectively ensured by a web of vocabulary items that may have been carefully picked up in accordance with the theme of the discussion and the audience's taste. The present study, therefore, sets forth the concept of "language decoration" as an interdisciplinary approach in establishing effective communications. Language decoration means ornamenting the content and form of the utterance so as to affect the audience significantly. In fact, language decoration can reveal individuals' identity and personality and is firmly rooted within their linguistic competence. In view of the importance of thinking, emotion, sense, and culture in conversations and considering the fact that "postlocution" moves beyond communicative competence, the current study endeavors to put forward literary ornaments, psychological ornaments, cultural ornaments, sensory ornaments at the forefront of language decoration. Moreover, it advances this view that through cogbination (cognition+combination), emobination (emotion+combination), culbination (culture+combination), and sensbination (sense+combination), people could decorate their utterances and consequently, improve their communicative performance.

1. Introduction
Language is a tool for effective communication between members of a community in which the ways it is used matter much. That implies that people use language to express their opinions, thoughts, and feelings. Indeed, they describe their relationship through language. From this point of view, language serves as a tool for giving people an identity, and how language is used in conversations is of significance for achieving goals and intentions.
This should be noted that in addition to exchanging information in conversations, attention should also be paid to the audience's understanding and selection of appropriate elements for a talk, and merely transferring information to the audience without considering the effect of lexical items on them may lead to poor communication. Broadly speaking, listeners tend to follow a conversation that is interesting, valuable, and useful and is presented with a simple and understandable language. Therefore, the type of lexical items used by a speaker and the extent of his efforts to attract the audience's attention are essential factors in any conversation. It is undeniable that for delivering an effective speech, people should plan and organize their content and gain the necessary experience and skills to convey it to others. If an individual wishes to have an effective conversation, he must know how to embellish his words to yield a positive effect on the audience and their emotions. Given that each individual has a degree of feelings and the emotional load of words varies from person to person, how to use lexical items in conversation is of paramount importance. Therefore, we can improve the quality of our daily interactions and communication through embellishing the speech and applying its principles. Accordingly, language, like environmental objects, can be decorated and presented to the audience in a more beautiful way. Therefore, paying attention to such elements as emotions, senses, and culture matters in communicating with others.
In view of the importance of this issue, the authors of the present inquiry attempt to explore an approach that goes beyond communicative competence. This novel approach not only transmits the message but also takes into account the audience's emotional and cognitive aspects in any communication. Therefore, after examining the concepts related to communicative competence, the theoretical framework is introduced, and based on that, the concept of language decoration is proposed, and relevant solutions are presented.

2. Literature Review
The main function of language is "communication", which is the reason why language theories such as "communicative competence" proposed by Hymes (1972) have well-addressed this issue. For Hymes (1972), communicative competence refers to the knowledge that a person can rely on to have effective and efficient communication with others and to determine whether a sentence is appropriate in certain situations or not. Canale and Swain (1980) considered communicative competence to consist of four dimensions, which should be taken into consideration for building a successful relationship with others.
A. Grammatical competence: knowing the lexical capacity and grammar (mastering words and grammar) and determining grammatically-correct sentences.
B. Discourse competence: knowing how to relate sentences to each other in terms of form and meaning (coherence) and achieving verbal cohesion.
C. Sociolinguistic competence: obtaining necessary information on how to choose words based on the audience type and socio-cultural context.
D. Strategic competence: using linguistic and non-linguistic strategies necessary to start, end, continue, repair and change the direction of communication.
Pishghadam et al. (2019) are of the view that in addition to the above-mentioned types of competence, another dimension called emo-sensory competence is also important for establishing effective communication. This is because people should pay attention to the audience emotionally to communicate more effectively. Accordingly, the smaller the emotional distance between the speaker and the audience, the more common understanding of the subject is formed, and consequently, the greater the rate of learning and understanding. Given that the theory of communicative competence only focuses on communicating and achieving personal desires and goals in conversation, Pishghadam and Ebrahimi (2020) introduced "linguo-therapeutic competence" (language for a better life) to complement the above-mentioned types of competence on effective communication. In this type of competence, language is seen as a tool for behavioral change, growth and a tool for improving another person's well-being. It is clear that if the speaker creates a balance between these language roles in their communication, pays more attention to the mentioned types of competence, and be more aware of them, they can build a more successful relationship with the audience. Besides this competence, speakers should also pay attention to speech acts in an effective conversation. Austin (1975) introduced the speech act theory and believes that the speaker does the actions through uttering sentences. Each sentence consists of the locutionary act (i.e., the literal meaning), the illocutionary act (i.e., the speaker's intention for communication), and the perlocutionary act (i.e., the effect of a sentence on the audience). These acts make people pursue a specific goal through uttering a sentence even though this goal may or may not be achieved.
Pishghadam and Ebrahimi (2020) also introduced the concept of "postlocution" and maintained that utterances may have a long-term effect on the audience. At times, utterances can have a long-term effect on people; therefore, individuals should consider the "postlocution" of their words in a successful conversation. This should be noted that in communicative competence, the speaker tends to achieve his own personal goals and intentions through language. Therefore, any use of language is self-oriented. The concept of "postlocution" is, however, other-oriented language wherein the individual pays attention to not only themselves but also others, and in fact, they attempt to make others feel good. Therefore, they are of the view although achieving the goal is important for effective and successful communication, boosting the audience's mood also matters.

3. Methodology
In the present study, the concept of language decoration is proposed as an interdisciplinary approach in building effective communications. Language decoration means embellishing lexical items in terms of content and meaning to have a greater impact on the audience during the conversation. As a matter of fact, language decoration manifests the identity and personality of people with a high level of verbal intelligence, and by highlighting the main functions of language, it makes speech more attractive. Given the importance of emotions, feelings, and culture in effective communications and considering the concept of "postlocution", which goes beyond communicative competence, the authors of the present work have proposed literary, psychological, cultural, and sensory decoration strategies. They are of the view that individuals can decorate their talk and speech through such techniques as cogbination (cognition+combination), emobination (emotion+combination), culbination (culture+combination), and sensbination (sense+combination), and consequently, improve the quality of their daily interactions and communications.

4. Results
Given the fact that the most important part of any communication is how to convey information, learning the main principles and skills of effective communication is of importance in building a strong relationship. Therefore, the art of having effective communication is a key factor in measuring individuals' success. That is why the ability to speak well and decorate the talk play important roles in making conversations more interesting and creating effective relationships. Given that such components as attitudes, cultures, emotions, and senses affect the quality of communication, they can also serve as linguistic ornaments.
Language decoration skills can be learned, and individuals can enhance these skills by learning related techniques. Employing interdisciplinary knowledge and putting together areas of sociology, psychology, linguistics, anthropology, etc., can help individuals communicate effectively through language decoration. In the present study, language decoration included literary, psychological, cultural, and sensory ornaments. It should be noted that for individuals to be successful in language decoration, they should use cogbination (using thoughtful quotes by famous people like Saadi and Descartes), emobination (using stimulating words), culbination (paying attention to traditional and modern cultural expressions), and sensbination (engaging audience visually and auditorily, etc.).
Overall, this can be concluded that for having effective communication, all people, regardless of their profession, need to know the techniques of giving a good speech mastering the art of language decoration. Mastery over language decoration techniques and oratory skills can help people communicate more effectively with their audience and successfully persuade and influence them.
In other words, if people harness and use techniques of language decoration, the audience will be more receptive to their talk and will listen with more interest. Therefore, the speaker is successful in any communication, and their message—which is accompanied by attractiveness and proper applications—is easily conveyed to the audience without evoking any negative emotions in them, which is the overall goal of language decoration.
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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: language teaching
Published: 2022/03/21

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