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Communicative intentions types and examples

Communicative intention

The communicative intention is what a person tries to achieve when he speaks, writes or emits a message in some way. That is to say, when we speak or write we do so with a purpose, be it to ask, convince, explain, ask or tell, among other things. In this article we will explain you the Communicative intentions.

In other words, the communicative intention is the goal that every participant in a communicative act pursues through their speech acts. For example, if one person asks another “do you have time?”, The communicative intention of the sender is to know what time it is.

For the communicative process to take place fully, the sender and receiver of the message must share a common code (the sender encodes the message and the receiver decodes it, that is, interprets and understands it).

This code is not only the language, it is also all the cultural and social interpretations that both the sender and the receiver share; Hence, when learning a new language, certain situations of language use must also be learned, rather than simply linguistic constructions.

Types of communicative intention

Depending on what we want to do when we communicate, the intention will be different. It is not the same to persuade than to command, or to ask what to tell. In each of these communicative variants, language changes.

Communication is based on the fact that the human being wants to achieve certain ends through the use of language, and for that he will use specific words, gestures or intonation that allow him to transmit the message in the way he wishes.

1-Persuasive communicative intention

When a person wants to persuade or convince someone else, they use the persuasive function of language. With words, you want the other person to do what you want. This intention is very clear in the advertisements, where they try to convince us to buy or use a particular product.

When someone wants to convince, when speaking they will not only use expressions such as “please” or “could you?”, “Would you like it?”, “Would like”, but all their gestures and tone of voice, as well as looks, they will try to persuade the recipient. Through the arguments it will be tried that the receiver understands the point of view of the emitter.

In the vast majority of cases it is an unconscious process, although there are people who carry out this communicative intention with full consciousness.

2-Informative communicative intention

When the intention is to inform, the language will be more objective since it is about giving information to the listener. For example, when news is released: “Luis arrived last night”, “Mariela received her as a lawyer last month”, “an earthquake is a telluric movement or an earth tremor where the earth’s crust shakes abruptly and briefly”.

The function of the language that is used for this communicative intention is the referential one, since it focuses on the context. Teachers often use informational intent in their classes.

3-Appellate communicative intention

The appealing function of language is related to the appealing intention, which is when it comes to ordering something from someone, or generating a specific reaction in the receiver of the message. Therefore, this intention is focused on the receiver.

The language used will be clear and concise, as direct as possible. Thus, when a person says “silence“, he is telling others to be quiet.

Authority figures (such as mothers, fathers, teachers and professors) regularly use the appellative intention: “bring all of today’s exercises tomorrow”, “eat all the food”, “don’t be late”, “you have to study these points better for the exam”.

But the appeal intention is also used when an institution, official or agency is asked to resolve a requirement, or when we write a letter or document requesting something, since a response is expected from the recipient.

4-Communicative Warning Intent

This communicative intention is evident when in the speech we want to warn about something or warn of some danger or risk. Arguments that explain such dangers are also used to inform the recipient or recipients.

It also makes use of the appellate function, as the receiver is expected to heed said warning: “Danger, recovery area”, “if you pass by they can assault you”, “as you arrive again late you will not have the allowance for this month”.

5-Emotional communicative intention

It is the intention of the speaker when expressing his feelings or his state of mind: “I feel sad”, “What a great day”, “I am in love”, “I do not like snails”. The function of language is expressive.

6-Phatic communicative intention

The phatic intention is to maintain contact with others, or to verify that the receiver is listening. For example: “do you hear me?”, “Hello, hello!”.

7-Poetic communicative intention

Through language we want to convey beauty, an artistic feeling, emotions difficult to express by other means.

It is common in poetic texts: “I want to be, crying, the gardener / of the land you occupy and manure, / companion of the soul, so early” (Miguel Hernández).

“She did not love me, but who I wanted to be; and he always reproached me for not having fulfilled my wishes ”(André Gide).

8-Metalinguistic communicative intention

Metalinguistics is said when information is given or requested about the language, about its uses, syntax, structure, etc.

Thus, when a person says: “grammar is the set of rules and norms for speaking and writing a language correctly”, he is speaking with a metalinguistic intention.

Examples of communicative intentions

Below are several sentences with different communicative intentions:

-Please, cover your mouth when you cough, so you do not infect anyone else (appellative communicative intention).

-I would love for us to have an ice cream! What do you think? You want? You fancy? Say yes! (persuasive communicative intention).

-Mom, I don’t feel well, my stomach and head hurt, and I think I’m going to vomit (emotional communicative intention).

-The notes will be published on the first Monday in February (informative communicative intention).

-If you ignore it, I will be forced to take more drastic measures (communicative warning intention).

-Hello! With whom I speak? (phatic communicative intention).

-Syntax is the part of linguistics that studies the relationship of semantic unit of a text. In other words and the functions they fulfill in speech (metalinguistic communicative intention).

– “Once upon a time / a good little wolf / who was mistreated / all the lambs. / And there was also / a bad prince, / a beautiful witch / and an honest pirate. / All these things / once upon a time / when I dreamed / a world upside down ”, José Agustín Goytisolo (poetic communicative intention).

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