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See alsointeractional communication; linguistic functions.

1. (phatic language, phatic communication, phatic communion) Malinowski's term for speech which functions primarily to develop and maintain social relationships, in contrast to informational communication.

2.Phatic function in language: a key linguistic or communicative function, the role of which is to establish or maintain social relationships. Chatting about the weather with strangers in a bus queue is an example of phatic communication; mobile phone text messages between adolescents are often primarily phatic. In Jakobson's model this function is oriented towards (establishing and maintaining) contact.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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