Automatic and strategic alignment of co-verbal gestures in dialogue

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Spontaneous co-verbal gestures are one means for speakers to align with each other and coordinate their interaction. In this chapter we review current empirical findings of this phenomenon and propose two kinds of partner-specific adaptations of gesturing in dialogue: Automatic alignment that occurs through priming via sensorimotor resonances and direct perception-action-links, while strategic adaptations result from flexible production choices based on recipient design and grounding. Both mechanisms are suggested to work to some degree independently and simultaneously, possibly affecting different features of the same gesture. An integrated process models of speech-gesture production and understanding is proposed that explains these adaptation mechanisms and how they may work together.


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