General Steps in Speech Production

There are a lot of little but meaningful things which we forget to gratitude in our every day. One of them is about how brilliant Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala has created our brain in producing the languages we speak daily. Have we ever regularly been thankful for this marvelous ability? If you haven’t, let me help you notice this-amazing-yet-being-ignored-to-be-thankful-for competence.

The Most Merciful, taught the Qur’an, Created man, [And] taught him eloquence. [Ar Rahman: 1 – 4]

dhz speak

Oh yes, Allah, in fact, has stated it in The Holy Qur’an🙂

And I got the scientific explanation of it when preparing my presentation for Psycholinguistics session of my vacation.

When we are about to produce an utterance, or doing conversation, we are actually passing the process which is called as SPEECH PRODUCTION. Soenjono (2005) stated that there are four general stages in producing speech: 1. Message Stage, 2. Functional Stage, 3. Positional Stage, and 4. Phonology Stage.

Levelt (1999) mentioned the first stage as Conceptual preparation, in which the intention to create speech links a desired concept to a particular spoken word to be expressed. Here the preverbal intended messages are formulated that specify the concepts to be verbally expressed.

For example: “They are paying attention to the lecturer’s explanation.”

From the sentence above, there will be a concept in our mind:

  1. There are group of people
  2. They are college students
  3. They are doing an activity
  4. The activity is paying attention to the lecturer’s explanation

That’s the first stage. The second called Functional Stage. Soenjono (2005) said that in this stage, the speaker gives the function to the words which are used.  Levelt (1999) stated that stage as formulation, and is related to grammatical encoding, morpho-phonological encoding, and phonetic encoding.

With the same sentence as the example, we should refer “They” as the Subject; meanwhile “Lecturer’s explanation” as the subject.

Then the third stage is Positional Stage. The lexical form that will be uttered is sorted based on the hierarchy meaning in this stage. “Are” is linked to “paying attention” and “Paying attention” is linked to “lecturer’s explanation”.

The last one is Phonology Stage. Because this is spoken language, so the word which we utter should follow the phonological rule of the language we speak. In his book, Psikolinguistik, Soenjono gave example: “Tutiek sedang menyuapi anaknya”. In Bahasa Indonesia, the word “Tutiek” follows the phonological rule of the language, but Ktuiek doesn’t. The vowel also must be in sequence. That’s why, “Tietuk” for example, will have different reference.

Do you see now? Our eloquence, even if we think it’s simple, is actually vividly a brilliant gift from Allah. So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? (Ar Rahman: 13)

That’s why, let’s try to not betray HIM by speaking good, or remain silent🙂

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