Spoken Language Investigation – Lying Argument

Sometimes it can be very easy to judge whether a person is lying during a spoken conversation rather than text language, whether it’s the tone of their voice or just their physical body language, these are things that can not be expressed through written language.

An example of lying being easy to detect through an authentic conversation was in a discussion between Bronson, Const and James and they played two truths and a lie, Bronson claimed three facts about him to be true he said that he was ambidextrous (lie), he had a cat named Mojo and that he had lived in Wanaka since he was one. During this conversation Const inquired on what the word ‘Ambidextrous’ meant Bronson replied with ” It means I can wright with both hands and do act… things with both hands” during this part of the conversation Bronson came across as quite nervous and possibly unsure on what he was speaking about. Stuttering is prosodic component in a discussion and can uncover lies because it suggest that the speaker is hesitant or uneasy which is very visible to the listener.

Another example of dishonesty being harder to distinguish through text language is in another consultation with Bronson, Const and James they played two truths and a lie again except through a Facebook Messenger group chat. Bronson declared three more facts about him to be correct. He said: “Okay, my house is two storied, I lived in Christchurch for a year before I moved to Wanaka (lie), I used to own a dog called fudge.” Const was able to guess that the second one was a lie but James falsely predicted that the last one was a lie. Lying is potentially easier to get away with through text language because no one in that discussion could hear Bronson’s tone and he wasn’t able to stutter which is the result of the person typing the text being able to think about and correct their language before they send their message. Being able to guess a lie through a text passage is more through linguistic features rather than prosodic or para-linguistic features.

Although it is difficult to express prosodic and para-linguistic features through text language, there are substitutes that allow things like shouting to be displayed in a text conversation. For example in a text group chat conversation Lucas says: “RAWR” the fact that this is written in all capital letter implies that he would be saying it louder if it were a spoken conversation. Or if an individual wanted to express an emotion while texting they could send an emoticon. In the same conversation Bronson says: “i didn’t drown, so that’s good ????” The emoticon represents that the speaker is laughing so they are reacting to something funny that had recently occurred.

In conclusion the evidence presented before you proves the hypothesis correct, it is easier to lie through text language compared to spoken language this is because of things like para-linguistic language features that naturally occur whenever a person speaks for example it may be more obvious that they are lying because of their smile or body position. Prosodic language features are things that instinctively integrate into our spoken conversations, if someone were to lie they might talk fast or speak in a higher pitched tone than they usually would. When an individual sends a text message to a friend the text can not display pitch or pace because it is a visual message that can only be interpreted by how the reader sees it.



Sources: http://bronsontoghill.mtaspiring.edutronic.net/wp-admin/post.php?post=51&action=edit 

Spoken Language – Two Truths and a Lie – Bronson (James and Const)

Text Conversation With Callum, Lucas, Hayley

One Comment

  1. This is an absolutely fascinating line of inquiry, Bronson. I think it has real potential to be developed into a compelling feature article.

    What you have is a very strongly reasoned analysis, which has been written with assurance. I think what I’d like you to consider exploring in addition is the implications of what you’ve discovered in your analysis. Namely, because text and online communication requires people to consciously incorporate prosodic and para-linguistic features, it is by its very nature less ‘authentic’ than speech.

    As you’ve explained very well, when we speak to each other in person, we communicate a lot of information, sometimes unconsciously which, arguably, we also notice on a sub-conscious level too. This suggests that the modes of communication have differing levels of inherent veracity (ability to be known to be true)

    Could we discuss how you could make this into an article that exposes this fact and makes a proposition as to why some people prefer to use text communication?

    Ideally, in the end, you’ll have written a piece that could be published as a feature article in a literary magazine that explores language in the contemporary context. Think in terms of having a reader to appeal to.

    You have all the building blocks in place – now it’s just a matter of style. This piece is already strong, but it has potential to be outstanding.

    (Consider using a catchy title to focus your argument too)



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