Differences Between Speech And Writing

1699 Words Oct 12th, 2015 7 Pages
Language is a unique and universal tool that we use to interact, communicate and convey ideas to each other. It is an integral part of our culture, that helps construct an identity while also empowering each person with the ability to express themselves. Language is described as being voluntary, symbolic and systematic. These key factors contribute to the two main expressions of language being speech and writing. Speech has existed since the dawn of humanity, whereas writing is thought to have been around for a maximum of 8000 years, Gee & Hayes (2011). Although speech and writing are the main modes of language, both are not always used. Speech and writing serve different purposes and can be understood by examining important differences between the two. The purpose of this report is to outline the differences between speech and writing in different contexts.
The Functions of Speech
Speech is the oral form of language and communication, thought to have dated back to the earliest days of mankind. Oral communication consists of functions such as phonics, syntax, semantics and pragmatics (Gee & Hayes, 2011). Social relationships, personal opinions and attitudes, are expressed through speech, via the prosodic functions of English (Gee & Hayes, 2011). This form of communication is referred to as face-to-face interaction, during this time, the speaker may begin to use gestures and facial expressions to assist in conveying a message (Crystal, 2005). During speech, the speaker may…
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