A linguistic and interdisciplinary approach to interactive speech and sounds

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This is the first interdisciplinary book-length treatment of paralanguage, briefly defined as: nonverbal vocal or narial communication. After sensitizing the reader to our sound-generating movements and to all human external and environmental sounds for their unquestionable communicative qualities, it realistically combines an anatomical-physiological auditory approach to voice production (identifying many neglected articulations) with the analysis of its visual manifestations as the triple reality of speech: language-paralanguage-kinesics. The primary qualities of speech (loudness, pitch etc.) are extensively discussed, as are the many voice qualities. The longest chapter in the book deals with paralinguistic differentiators: laughter, crying, sighing, yawning, coughing, sneezing etc. Finally the author presents a model for analyzing paralinguistic alternants, word-like independent constructs (such as <i>Pooh, Aah</i> and <i>Brrr</i>). Throughout the discussion of these paralinguistic phenomena, extensive attention is given to cultural, social and psychological aspects. This first, ground-breaking interdisciplinary work on paralanguage will serve as a source of data and a theoretical/methodological model for phoneticians, linguists, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, speech therapists etc.

Subjects: Discourse studies; Pragmatics; Semiotics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of New Brunswick

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