Gesture/speech integration in the perception of prosodic emphasis

Gaëlle Ferré


It is now well established that communicative gestures are not produced randomly by speakers but that there are links between these gestures and semantic content as well as syntactic structure. In prosody, it has also been shown that hand gestures align with lexical stress in the words they accompany and that particular gesture types like hand beats regularly accompany prosodic emphasis in speech. Although some studies have started to research possible interactions between hand gestures and prosodic emphasis, the exact influence of gestures on the perception of prosodic emphasis is still largely unknown. This issue is addressed in the present paper in which a perception experiment is conducted. The paper shows that hand gestures have an impact on the perception of prosodic emphasis and that both gesture type (beat vs. pointing hand gesture) and gesture amplitude (large hand gesture as opposed to a medium-sized or a small one) influence perception. The study therefore sheds new light on speech models and the current debate concerning the level at which gestures interact with speech.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-7

Cite as: Ferré, G. (2018) Gesture/speech integration in the perception of prosodic emphasis. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 35-39, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-7.


@inproceedings{Ferré2018,
  author={Gaëlle Ferré},
  title={Gesture/speech integration in the perception of prosodic emphasis},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={35--39},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-7},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-7}
}