Annalisa Zanola

Speaking about Speaking. Historical Foundations of Oral Communication Studies

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: history of oral communication, pronunciation, elocution, delivery, public speaking.

Over the centuries, and increasingly in recent decades, oral communication has been the subject of a myriad of studies in different scientific-disciplinary areas. Several methodologies have often dealt with the same object using different, though similar, terms. In other words, for centuries we have been talking about speaking with different terms that sometimes cover overlapping areas. The main goal here is to establish the state of the art by describing the terms and studying the approaches that have been adopted through the centuries to describe oral communication: from the terms delivery to elocution up to pronunciation, from the British and American elocutionists’ theories to the most recent trends in EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teaching and learning, the boundaries of oral communication are very difficult to define. This contribution will narrow the historical meaning of all these tentative approaches and their areas of application, in a double way: on the one hand the numerous terms and approaches will be clarified, on the other hand the long history underlying this rich field of research will be emphasised.

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