Epistemic intonation and epistemic gesture are mutually co-expressive: Empirical results from two intonation-gesture matching tasks

Joan Borràs-Comes, Evangelia Kiagia, P. Prieto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2019 Elsevier B.V. While several studies have investigated the temporal relationship between co-speech gestures and prosodic structure, little is known about their potential interaction at the level of their encoding of pragmatic meaning. Here we report the results of two complementary intonation-gesture matching tasks which investigate the potential co-dependencies between intonation patterns related to epistemic commitment operators and their associated gestures in Catalan. In Experiment 1, participants were shown audio-muted videos in which a speaker performed gestures conveying epistemic information of certainty or uncertainty while uttering statements and questions. The subjects were then asked to produce a stipulated target word, the goal being to examine whether they would produce the word with a tune that was semantically consistent with the gestures they had seen. In Experiment 2, participants were primed by hearing intonation patterns conveying epistemic information (certainty-uncertainty) and were then asked to select one of two silent videos which seemed to best match the intonation they had heard. The results suggest converging positive effects in both matching tasks and suggest a close interrelation between the pragmatic representations of intonation and gesture that needs to be taken into account when investigating multimodal pragmatic encoding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume150
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • CATALAN
  • Epistemic meaning
  • Gesture
  • Gesture-intonation co-dependencies
  • Gesture-speech integration
  • Intonation
  • SPEECH
  • Speaker commitment

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