We explain what a speech is, how it is classified and the ways in which it is presented. Also, students of discourse and its characteristics.

What is the Speech?

The term discourse refers to the various forms and tendencies of the elaboration of a message through the expressive mechanisms and resources available to those who wish to communicate.

It should not be confused with the common use of speech as a synonym for an address, presentation or situation in which a person addresses an audience orally.

The study of discourse as such: its methods of realization, its variants of influence and its characteristics, are the task of Discourse Analysis, a common practice in various areas of study , such as psychology , sociology , linguistics, philosophy , the history and psychoanalysis, among others.

Speech characteristics :

  1. Concept

The concept of discourse can be defined, according to the French linguist Émile Benveniste , as "the concrete application of the linguistic system, when it remains in charge or is assumed, even transformed, by the speaker in his speech act."

This means that a discourse is a specific and determined way of transmitting a message , contemplating the framework of rules, norms and agreements of a linguistic system, such as a specific language or a specific code, influenced by variants such as context. , the purpose of the issuer, etc.

  1. Speech types

Speech types

According to its purpose and the elements of reality to which it pays attention, we can speak of the following types of discourse:

  • Technological scientist. One who undertakes the knowledge of reality and its transformation for the benefit of human beings .
  • Aesthetic. One whose concern is the very way in which the message is being presented: the arts and literature are a perfect example.
  • Religious. He who through stories, allegories and comparisons, proposes a model of cosmogony (origin of things) or a moral code justified in divine commandments.
  • Rhetorical. One who tries to influence, convince, persuade the interlocutors, to mobilize them towards some attitude or certain thought .
  • Educational. The one whose main concern is the transmission of information and knowledge in the ideal way.
  • Historical. The one who tries to rescue the events that occurred in time and establish between them some margin of understanding or conclusions .
  • Political . One who tries to build aspecific community modeland to influence the thinking of the masses.

  1. Forms of speech

Forms of speech

The forms of speech are the specific strategies that allow the sender to convey the message in a more effective or appropriate way for the situation.

  • Narration . Count of events that have occurred, whether real or imaginary.
  • Description . Presentation of the characteristic features of an object, person or situation in order to provide as much detail as possible.
  • Dialogue. Reproduction of the thoughts or comments of two or more people, respecting the speaking turns in which the real or fictional conversation took place.
  • Exhibition . It consists of referring objectively, clearly and directly the message that you want to convey.
  • Argumentation . It consists of exposing in a subjective way, through opinions, reasoning and conclusions, the message that you want to transmit in order to influence the recipient (s) of the moment.

  1. Contexts

In the study of discourses, the series of meta and extra discursive factors that accompany it are taken into account , that is, the context in which the communication occurs. The gestures, the prior information, the communicative situation itself, everything influences the elaboration of a speech, since all this provides the receiver with information.

  1. Specialization


The speeches can be more or less specialized, which means that they can be decoded by more or less informed people , studied or prepared in some way for the approach to the topic that is being communicated. For example, a conference on mathematics will probably require a moderately specialized audience, while a newscast reading targets a massive and diversified audience.

  1. Precision

The speeches can be more or less precise, that is, they can focus more or less on the theme or intention they pursue . A precise speech will be one that focuses more directly on its tasks, while an imprecise one will be more errant, less accurate, will tend to wander and get lost.

  1. Verifiability


Not all speeches are verifiable, nor should they be. Religious and aesthetic discourses do not aspire to be verified , that is, to verify the truth of what they expose. Other types of discourses, such as scientific, historical or educational, on the other hand, support their capacity for convincing and information on the total verifiability of their contents.

  1. Continuity

The speeches are continuous, that is, they are sustained over time and do not happen all at once , as could happen with actions. Speeches usually happen over time, given their linguistic nature: you need to reach the end of the said sentence to understand its full meaning, just as you must read every last word of a piece of writing to know what it says.

  1. Speech analysis

Speech analysis

Discourse analysis as a practice emerged during the 1960s as a transdisciplinary way of approaching communication and its characteristics , which allowed at the same time a true explosion of ways of understanding discourse or discursive, and a greater understanding of the transmission of messages from the human being.

  1. Students of discourse

The theoretical and academic contributions of thinkers such as Michel de Foucault, Tzvetan Todorov, Emile Benveniste, Paul de Ricoeur, Teun Van Dijk and many others have been fundamental in the development of the disciplines of discursive analysis.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


MA student of the TransAtlantic Masters program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Political Science with a focus on European Studies. Expressed ideas are open to revision. He not only covers Technical articles but also has skills in the fields of SEO, graphics, web development and coding. .

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