Retoryka a niejęzykowe środki komunikacji

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Wydawnictwo "Poznańskie Studia Polonistyczne"

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Rhetoric and Non-linguistic Communication Devices


The subject matter of the text is an analysis of the meaning of non­linguistic devices in communication from the point of view of rhetoric understood as an art of speaking aimed at persuasion. The starting point for the author`s considerations is the thesis that the persuasive potential, which is possessed by a speaker, and which is about to be released at the actio stage, stems from such factors as the speaker`s credibility, competence, similarity to the recipient, sympathy they arouse and charisma—all these factors, to a greater or smaller degree, are built from extralinguistic elements. Thus, the efficiency of a rhetoric act depends not only on the ability to construct a text (according to the rules of inventio, dispositio and elocutio) but also on the method of its realization (acto). However, the most important is the assumption that the recipient: his needs, predispositions, opinions, attitudes and character determine the selection of appropriate persuasive devices including invention (topics and argumentation), elocution (the choice of a linguistic code) as well as the act of speaking itself. The non­linguistic devices discussed, embrace gestures, facial expressions, body movements and positions, physical distance, appearance and clothes as well as a paralinguistic aspect of communication (connected with the speaker`s voice, their physical attributes and the manner of speaking). From the point of view of rhetoric, in order to use these non­linguistic devices one has to obey specific rules. These are the rules of: appropriateness, functionality and credibility. Following the rule of appropriateness requires the correspondence of nonverbal behaviours with the speech style, with the type of the auditorium and the speaking situation (including time and place). From the point of view of the functionality principle, it is crucial to attach function to nonverbal behaviours intended to achieve a particular goal, whereas the credibility principle requires a speaker to build appropriate relations with the auditorium by means of nonlinguistic devices. The means of realization of these principles must be updated each time in a particular speaking situation, with prime consideration for the needs and the character of the recipient as well as the aim of the utterance.




retoryka, mowa ciała, komunikacja niewerbalna, zasada stosowności, zasada funkcjonalności, decorum, wiarygodność, mówca, ethos


Poznańskie Studia Polonistyczne. Seria Językoznawcza nr 15, 2009, s. 57-76.



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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego