Human communication

Human communication, or anthroposemiotics, is the field dedicated to understanding how humans communicate. Human communication is grounded in cooperative and shared intentions. Our ability to communicate with one another cannot be possible without an understanding of what we are referencing or thinking about. Because we are unable to fully understand another's perspective, there needs to be a creation of commonality through a shared mindset and/or viewpoint.[1] The field of communication is very diverse. There are multiple layers to what communication is and how we use its different sectors and features as human beings.

Humans have communicatory abilities other animals do not. For example, we are able to communicate about time and place as though they are solid objects. Humans communicate to request help, to inform others, and to share attitudes for bonding.[1] Communication is a joint activity largely dependent on the ability to maintain common attention. We share relevant background knowledge and joint experience in order to communicate content and coherence in exchanges.[2]

The evolution of human communication took place over a long period of time. We evolved from simple pointing and hand gestures to the use of spoken language. Most face-to-face communication requires visually reading and following communication from the other person, offering replying gestures in return, and maintaining eye contact throughout the interaction.[1] As humans, we have an obligation to communicate in the way we are taught in our youth, and if one layer of communication grows, they all do. In a way, the layers work as a system, which coordinate with one another to formulate what the field of human communication is.


The current study of human communication can be branched off into two major categories; rhetorical and relational. The focus of rhetorical communication is primarily on the study of influence; the art of rhetorical communication is based on the idea of persuasion. The relational approach examines communication from a transactional perspective; two or more people interact to reach an agreed perspective.[citation needed]

In its early stages, rhetoric was developed to help ordinary people prove their claims in court; this shows how persuasion is key in this form of communication. Aristotle stated that effective rhetoric is based on argumentation. As explained in the text,[which?] rhetoric involves a dominant party and a submissive party or a party that succumbs to that of the most dominant party. While the rhetorical approach stems from Western societies, the relational approach stems from Eastern societies. Eastern societies hold higher standards for cooperation, which makes sense as to why they would sway more toward a relational approach for that matter. "Maintaining valued relationships is generally seen as more important than exerting influence and control over others".[3] "The study of human communication today is more diversified than ever before in its history".[3]

Classification of human communication can be found in the workplace, especially for group work. Co-workers need to argue with each other to gain the best solutions for their projects, while they also need to nurture their relationship to maintain their collaboration. For example, in their group work, they may use the communication tactic of "saving face".

Spoken language involves speech, mostly human quality to acquire. For example, chimpanzees are humans' closest relative, but they are unable to produce speech. Chimpanzees are the closest living species to humans. Chimpanzees are closer to humans, in genetic and evolutionary terms, than they are to gorillas or other apes. The fact that a chimpanzee will not acquire speech, even when raised in a human home with all the environmental input of a normal human child, is one of the central puzzles we face when contemplating the biology of our species. In repeated experiments, starting in the 1910s, chimpanzees raised in close contact with humans have universally failed to speak, or even to try to speak, despite their rapid progress in many other intellectual and motor domains. Each normal human is born with a capacity to rapidly and unerringly acquire their mother tongue, with little explicit teaching or coaching. In contrast, no nonhuman primate has spontaneously produced even a word of the local language.[4]


Human communication can be subdivided into a variety of types:

  • Intrapersonal communication (communication with oneself): This very basic form of information, is the standard and foundation, of all things communication. This communication with ourselves, showcases the process in which we think on our previous and ongoing actions, as well as what we choose to understand from other types of communications and events. Out intrapersonal communication, may be shown and expressed to others by our reactions to certain outcomes, through simple acts of gestures and expressions.[5]
  • Interpersonal communication (communication between two or more people) - Communication relies heavily on understanding the processes and situations that you are in, in order to communicate affectively. It is more than simple behaviors and strategies, on how and what it means to communicate with another person. Interpersonal communication, reflects the personality and characteristics, of a person, seen through the type of dialect, form, and content, a person chooses to communicate with. As simple as this is, interpersonal communication can only be correctly done if both persons involved in the communication, understand what it is to be human beings, and share similar qualities of what it means to be humans. It involves acts of trust and openness, as well as a sense of respect and care towards what the other person is talking about.[6]
    • Nonverbal communication: The messages we send to each other, in ways that cover the act of word-by-mouth. These actions may be done through the use of our facial features and expressions, arms and hands, the tone of our voice, or even our very appearance can display a certain type of message.[7]
    • Speech
      Group and Organizational Communication, done by President Elect Joe Biden and Richard Haass. Uploaded a work by The White House from with UploadWizard
    • Conversation
    • Visual communication
    • Writing
    • Mail
    • Mass media
    • Telecommunication
  • Organizational communication (communication within organizations)
  • Mass communication: This type of communication involves the process of communicating with known and unknown audiences, through the use of technology or other mediums. There is hardly ever an opportunity for the audience to respond directly to those who sent the message, there is a divide/separation between the sender and receiver. There are typically four players in the process of mass communication, these players are: those who send the message, the message itself, the medium in which the message is sent, and those who receive the message. These four components come together to be the communication we see and are a part of the most, as the media helps in distributing these messages to the world everyday.[8]
  • Group dynamics (communication within groups)
  • Cross-cultural communication (communication across cultures)

Important figuresEdit

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ a b c "Origins of Human Communication". MIT Press. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  2. ^ Clark (1996). Using Language. Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ a b Stacks, D.; Salwen, M. (2009). An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research. New York: Routledge.
  4. ^ Fitch, Tecumseh (2010). The Evolution of Language. Cambridge University Press.
  5. ^ Hanson, Ralph E. (2016-10-20). Mass Communication: Living in a Media World. SAGE Publications. ISBN 978-1-5063-5857-4.
  6. ^ Hartley, Peter (2002-01-04). Interpersonal Communication. doi:10.4324/9780203019719. ISBN 9780203019719.
  7. ^ Verderber, Rudolph F.; Verderber, Kathleen S.; Sellnow, Deanna D. (2014-01-01). COMM3. Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-1-305-43696-1.
  8. ^ Hanson, Ralph E. (2016-10-20). Mass Communication: Living in a Media World. SAGE Publications. ISBN 978-1-5063-5857-4.

Further readingEdit