Silent Talk -Nonverbal Communication

This book, Silent Talk : Nonverbal Communication, is intended for the benefit of students of linguistics and adjacent sciences, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology and speech pathology, who would like to know something more about the aspects of nonverbal communication than provided in their respective courses. Throughout the book, I have made attempts to relate these aspects to Indian contexts. The book is divided into six chapters, focusing on definition and scope of nonverbal communication, proxemics and nonverbal communication, use and function of eye and face in nonverbal communication, use and function of language and silence in nonverbal communication, gesture, and the use and function of nonverbal communication in the abnormal individuals.

Parts of this book have been presented in lectures which I delivered at the Department of Linguistics, Madurai Kamaraj University, Department of Linguistics and Department of Tamil, Bharathiar University, and the Department of Tamil, University of Madras. I am grateful to all those who attended these lectures and who, by their insightful questions, helped me revise the earlier drafts. In particular, I must express my gratitude to Dr. M. Israel, Professor and Head, Department of Linguistics, Madurai Kamaraj, Dr. K. Karunakaran, Professor and Head, Department of Linguistics and Dean, Faculty of Arts, Bharathiar University, Dr. N. Jeyaraman, Professsor and Head, Department of Tamil, Bharathiar University, and Dr. N. Sanjeevi, Professor and Head, Department of Tamil, University of Madras. Their gesture, at a time when I badly needed personal reassurance and academic encouragement, helped me to complete this book soon.

I had many useful discussions with Mrs. B. Syamala Kumari, Reader-cum-Research Officer, CIIL, on the design, content, scope and coverage of this book. She was kind to read the manuscript in several stages of its completion and offer critical comments which helped improve the quality of the contents and their presentation in this book.

Mrs. C.R. Sulochana, Miss Suman Kumari, and Mrs. Sharada Mallikarjun, Librarians of the CIIL Library, Sri Nissar Hussain and Sri Anwar Pasha helped me in location and obtaining necessary reference materials. Dr. D.P. Pattanayak, Director, CIIL, Sri H.L.N. Bharati, Asst. Editor, Sri V. Gopal, Stenographer (Technical), who set the type for the entire book, Sri Sambamurthi, who typed the numerous drafts of the munuscript, Sri S.B. Biswas, Manager, CIIL Printing Press and my other colleagues at the CIIL Printing Press deserve special mention. I am grateful to all of them.

My wife Swarna read the manuscript and helped me write and rewrite it several times. But for her personal care and understanding I would never have completed this book.

With gratitude and admiration, I dedicate this book to my teacher Professor Stanley Starosta, Department of Linguistics, University of Hawaii, and insightful theoretician and a delightful teacher of linguistics, whose insistence on the deeper analysis of linguistic structures is matched equally by his awareness of the need for supplementing this analysis with findings from other sciences as well.

M. S. Thirumalai