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  • The term has a variety of meanings in the social sciences. One refers to speech code theory, which attempts to explain a wide range of communicative conduct in a specific speech community. For example, in a speech code, one looks for particular symbols and meanings in the way a person speaks in a distinct culture; the words used help explain the characteristics of cultural conduct.

    In a more general sense, speech refers to public speaking, or, more technically, elocutionism, or how one speaks in front of an audience. This meaning includes the art of persuasion, rhetoric, and the social psychology of interpersonal relationships. Late in the 20th century, the methodology derived from sociology, conversation analysis, found its way into the scholarly repertory. For more information, see ...

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