Language and Linguistics

Tactile language Types and characteristics

Tactile language is formed by signals emitted by the skin or external parts of the body. It’s the way people relate to each other through touch. For example, hugging is a tactful way to communicate appreciation or love.

In today’s society, people are naturally reluctant to make physical contact. However, the sense of touch allows a wide variety of non-verbal messages to be conveyed.

In this sense, emotions can be expressed, interpersonal attitudes and what is said verbally can be reinforced or contradictory. In tactile language, the organs that intervene most are the hands, which help to reinforce the other senses.

For example, affective tactile language is used when you want to express a feeling of affection or affinity towards another person.

It can be reflected in hugs, kisses and caresses. Hugs can be emotionally comforting and, in some cases, are essential for people’s health.

There are several types of tactile language, which vary according to the interlocutor’s intention and the nature of the message he wants to convey. The fundamental characteristics of the main types of tactile language will be detailed below:

Five types of Tactile language

1- aggressive

Aggressive tactile language occurs when the sender’s actions are recognized by the receiver as a threat, either explicit or implicit.

For example, in Italian mafias, a kiss on the mouth of the receiver means a fall from grace, probably a death sentence.

2- Professional

Professional tactile language allows the transmission of specific information about a person.

In a personal interview, all the details must be dealt with: for example, sitting on the edge of a chair is a sign of impatience; blinking constantly is a reflection of insecurity; biting or moistening the lips is a sign of shyness and indecision; and a firm handshake demonstrates confidence and autonomy.

3- Social

Tactile social language includes all kinds of body language that society uses every day.

In general, physical contact tends to be avoided, depending on who the interlocutor is. Therefore, physical contact depends on several factors, such as gender, age, social class or the context of the contact.

4- Sexual

Sexual tactile language is another of the affective forms between receiver and sender.

It starts with the seduction ritual, with simple gestures and signs. It can be a look, a smile or a close-up, and the main goal is intimate contact.

5- As therapy

It can also be used as a therapeutic method. One such method is hug therapy.

Hug therapy is a technique through which you seek to release stress by hugging or letting yourself be hugged by other people. This method is considered to relieve tension, confirm other people’s acceptance and can even improve and cure ailments.

When hugging, a hormone called oxytocin is released, which plays a very important role in empathy and interpersonal relationships. It is aptly called “the confidence hormone”.

The importance of tactile language for deaf-blind people

Another use of tactile language is to help deaf-blind people. In many cases, these people live in isolation and can only communicate through interpreters, which are scarce and expensive.

This language is developed from the language of signs or signs, with direct contact with the interlocutor, allowing the latter, through touch, to know the gestures that this interlocutor is making.

There are different causes for which there are people who suffer from both hearing and vision impairment. One of the most common is Usher syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects 3.5 out of every 100,000 people.

Unable to see or hear, it is useless to learn signs or sign language. Through tactile language, they can get in touch with the interlocutor, recognizing by touch what he is saying. They can also communicate.

It is similar to sign or sign language, except that the gestures are made on the speaker‘s body.

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