Communication Beyond Words


It is no accident that we begin this article with a quotation from Marek Tokarz. His article entitled Komunikacja poza gramatyką [eng. Communication beyond grammar], which was published in the commemorative book in honor of professor Jerzy Pelc W świecie znaków: księga pamiątkowa ku czci profesora Jerzego Pelca (Tokarz 1996), was one of the chief inspirations for this paper. In his article, Tokarz studied the possibility of achieving communication without syntax. In what follows, we intend to go one step further and analyze the possibility of achieving communication without verbal means. Let us begin with specifying the term ’nonverbal communication’. According to the common definition, it is a communication which involves giving signs (signals) other than words (Tokarz 2006: 327). Verbal communication is not identified with oral, spoken communication, but with a communication established through words. That is why emitting sounds such as muttering or humming are considered nonverbal messages. On the other hand, sign language and written language are treated as verbal communication.