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Linguistic recommendations: General knowledge about the functioning of communication

Heringer’s approach

The foundations of communication are formulated in a generally understandable way in Heringer (2010: 9-22). Heringer compares various definitions and models with each other, finally establishing the frame of “communication” with its various aspects: the scenario (when and where?), the participants (who?), the topic (about what?), the intention (why?), the mode (how?) and the medium (with what?) (Heringer 2010: 23-26). The ensuing chapters in Heringer are titled accordingly: Speaking and understanding, What is conversation?, Non-verbal communication, Language and culture, Understanding culture, and Culture in language. Following these is another chapter about cultural standards and stereotypes and one about critical incidents. Without reproducing the content of the chapters in full, I will present some general knowledge about communication below; this knowledge can and should be embraced even if one lacks a linguistic background, for by doing so one will be best equipped for intercultural (business) communication. Another good description of pragmatic “rules of communication” based on Paul Watzlawick’s five axioms of communication are explained for the non-linguistically educated reader by Stahl and Menz (2014: 43-51). They equally apply to both intercultural communication and intercultural business communication and are, in part, reflected in the following sections.

 
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