A study of postural, mimetic and gestural indicators combined with prosodic indicators

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We describe in the following pages a subset of the experiments as well as some of the results gathered in the context of our doctoral dissertation, defended in April 2008. The aim of our research was to show both the semantic and pragmatic value of certain types of nonverbal expression. We therefore conducted a study of perceptions of postural, mimetic and gestural (PMG) elements and of prosodic indicators in order to compare perceptions of certain feelings and attitudes in French, on the basis of visually enacted oral discourse, using several advertising films. In this article, after specifying the various theoretical fields used for our study, we will present an experiment concerning the perception of the attitudes of anger, determination, threat, involvement and conviction, enthusiasm, perplexity, command, Questioning and dissatisfaction, as they are expressed from consistent PMG elements conveying the objects of the “Totext” by native speakers of a language (the control group) and non-native informants, FFL learners from American, Chinese and Japanese cultures, in order to determine their ability for making correlations between the visual and auditory dimensions.


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