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GESPIN – GESTURE & SPEECH IN INTERACTION – Poznań, 24-26 September 2009

On the synchrony between speech and gesture pause: A longitudinal study for Italian Anna Esposito Second University of Naples, Department of Psychology and IIASS Via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta, Italy iiass.annaesp@tin.it

Abstract Previous research works proved the existence of a synchronization between speech and gesture pauses in adults and in 9 year old children with a rich linguistic vocabulary and advanced language skills (Esposito et al., 2001, 2002, 2003; Esposito & Marinaro, 2007). When and how does this synchrony develop during child language acquisition? Could it be observed also in children younger than 9? The present work aims to answer the above questions reporting on the analysis of narrations produced by three differently aged groups of Italian children (9, 5 and 3 year olds) and provides measurements of the amount of “expressive gestures”, speech, and gestures pauses, in the three different groups, as a function of the word rates and narration durations. Here “expressive gestures” are defined as “every body movement (including hands, harms, head, and posture) which accompanied the subject interaction with the interlocutor and was interpreted by the latter as a communicative and/or expressive intention” (Esposito et al. 2007)

Esposito, A., Marinaro M.: What Pauses Can Tell Us about Speech and Gesture Partership. In A. Esposito, M. Bratanic, E. Keller, M. Marinaro (Eds.), Fundamentals of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication and the Biometrical Issue, NATO Publishing Series, Sub-Series E: Human and Societal Dynamics – Vol. 18, pp. 4557, IOS press, 2007 Esposito, A., Esposito, D., Trojano, L.: Gestures, Pauses, and Aphasia: Four Study Cases, International IEEE Symposium on Research on Assistive Technologies, pp.59-63, Dayton, April 16, OHIO, USA, 2007. Esposito, A., Natale, A., Duncan, S., McNeill, D., Quek, F.: Speech and Gestures Pauses Relationships: A Hypothesis of Synchronization (in Italian). In Proceedings of the V National Conference on Italian Psychology, AIP, Grafica80-Modugno, Bari, Italy, 95-98, 2003. Esposito, A., Duncan, S., Quek. F.: Holds as Gestural Correlates to Empty and Filled Pauses. In Proceeding of the International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP02), Denver, Colorado, 1, 541-544, 2002. Esposito, A., McCullough, K.E., Quek. F.: Disfluencies in Gestures. In Proceedings of International Workshop on Cues in Communication, Hawai, December 9, 2001.


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