Language and Linguistics

Linguistic and non linguistic communication with 50 examples

Linguistic and non-linguistic communication

Linguistic communication is that communication in which words are used to convey a message. For example: a conversation between two people. Non – linguistic communication is one in which words are not used, but gestures, sounds, images and signs are used to transmit a message. For example: an advertising image that only has a photograph. In this article we will explain the phenomenon of Linguistic and non linguistic communication with 50 examples.

Linguistic communication is only established by people and can be oral or written. In order for people to communicate, they have to share the same code, that is, they have to speak the same language.

This communication is more precise than non-linguistic communication (because a message with words is easier to interpret) and it is voluntary, that is, the sender is aware that he is communicating something.

Non-linguistic communication can be established between people or between animals. It is not as precise as linguistic communication, since the same message can be interpreted in different ways, and it can be involuntary, since a sender may not be aware that he is communicating something.

A message sent by a person can establish a linguistic communication and a non-linguistic communication at the same time. For example: a person can greet by saying “hello” (linguistics) while she raises and waves her arm (non-linguistics).

linguistic or verbal communication

Verbal communication can be done in two ways: oral: through oral signs and spoken words or written: through the graphic representation of signs.
There are multiple forms of oral communication. Shouting, whistling, crying and laughter can express different emotional situations and are one of the most primary forms of communication. The most evolved form of oral communication is articulated language, the structured sounds that give rise to the syllables, words, and sentences with which we communicate with others.
The forms of written communication are also very varied and numerous (ideograms, hieroglyphs, alphabets, acronyms, graffiti, logos…). From the primitive ideographic and hieroglyphic writing, so difficult for us to understand; even syllabic and alphabetic phonetics, better known, there is an important evolution. To correctly interpret written messages, it is necessary to know the code, which must be common to the sender and receiver of the message.

Non-linguistic or non-verbal communication

In our time, non-verbal communication systems are becoming more and more important.
Non-verbal communication is carried out through a multitude of signs of great variety: sensory images (visual, auditory, olfactory…), sounds, gestures, body movements, etc.


• Maintains a relationship with verbal communication, as they are often used together.
•On many occasions it acts as a regulator of the communication process, helping to broaden or reduce the meaning of the message.
• Non-verbal communication systems vary across cultures.
• Generally, it fulfills a greater number of functions than the verbal, since it accompanies, completes, modifies or replaces it on occasions.

Among the non-verbal communication systems we have:

•Corporal language. Our gestures, movements, tone of voice, our clothes and even our body odor are also part of the messages when we communicate with others.
Iconic language. It encompasses many forms of non-verbal communication: Morse code, universal codes (sirens, Morse, Braylle, language of the deaf), semi-universal codes (the kiss, signs of mourning or mourning), particular or secret codes (signs of the sports referees).

Difference Between Linguistic and Non-Linguistic Communication

Bearing in mind that linguistic communication is one that involves the use of semantic unit of a text. In other words verbally or in writing, it can then be said that non-linguistic communication is one that does not involve words, but sounds, signs or gestures.

Non-linguistic communication is typical of other living beings other than humans, who do not have the ability to build semantic unit of a text. In other words. For this reason, they must communicate with their peers through sounds or gestures typical of each species and that can only be interpreted by them.

Examples of linguistic communication

In communication, language intervenes language, that is, the ability of human beings to develop codes, sign systems, and grant the latter a symbolic function. This is a unique ability of the human being (as far as we know).

Examples of linguistic communication are the following cases:

  • The verbal interaction of two people faces to face.
  • Communication through written messages, either on paper (a message slipped under the door) or on electronic support (a text message).
  • All traffic signs that a driver is able to understand and foresee dangers on the road.
  • The language of the deaf-mute.
  • The message of any audiovisual commercial.

Examples of non-linguistic communication

On the contrary, we will speak of non-linguistic communication for those cases of communication in which language does not intervene in any way, but the exchange of information occurs through non-systematic mechanisms, such as instinctual, biochemical, or sensory.

The following cases are examples of non-linguistic communication:

  • The growl with which one dog frightens another that enters its territory.
  • The meow of cats, even when directed at humans.
  • The chemical communication between ants, which allows them to be transmitted uncovered the site of the jam.
  • Certain flirtatious and flirtatious situations between humans, which do not involve the spoken word.
  • Cellular communication triggers the immune response of the body.

Examples of linguistic communication

  1. A lecture delivered by a person in front of an audience.
  2. A letter.
  3. A conversation in which people are present.
  4. An email.
  5. The lyrics of a song.
  6. A news from a newspaper.
  7. A legend.
  8. An oral testimony.
  9. An instruction manual.
  10. A chat conversation.
  11. A dedication in a book.
  12. An encyclopedia.
  13. A law.
  14. A monograph.
  15. A degree thesis.
  16. A conversation on the phone.
  17. A class at the university.
  18. An order from a doctor on how to take a drug.
  19. An invitation to a wedding.
  20. A video call between people in a work team.
  21. a tweet.
  22. An academic essay.
  23. A telegram.
  24. The instructions of an exam.
  25. The nutritional information of a food.

Examples of non-linguistic communication

  1. The wink of a car, used to indicate the direction in which the vehicle will turn.
  2. A painting.
  3. An emergency exit sign.
  4. Constantly stamping your foot on the floor (a gesture that communicates that a person is impatient).
  5. The red light of the traffic light, which indicates that cars have to stop.
  6. Lights of a lighthouse, which indicate the proximity of ships to the coast.
  7. The horn of a car.
  8. A dangerous curve sign.
  9. an emoticon
  10. The call for attention to a person by touching his shoulder.
  11. The frown (gesture that indicates that a person is angry).
  12. The ambulance siren.
  13. The sound of a referee’s whistle to indicate a foul in a football game.
  14. The neigh of a horse.
  15. A smile (gesture that indicates that a person is happy).
  16. A person who shakes their head from side to side to communicate that they don’t want something.
  17. The purr of a cat.
  18. A person who greets by raising and waving his arm.
  19. A person who gives a thumbs up to indicate that they agree with something.
  20. A lion roaring at another lion.
  21. A cartoon that only has drawings.
  22. Point with the index finger to indicate where something is.
  23. Shake hands to greet each other.
  24. Put your hands on your face (a gesture that can show that the person is tired).
  25. Smoke signals, which convey different messages depending on their color and shape.

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