Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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Adults and children spontaneously produce gestures while they speak, and such gestures appear to support and expand on the information communicated by the verbal channel. Little research, however, has been carried out to examine the role played by gesture in the listener's representation of accumulating information. Do listeners attend to the gestures that accompany narrative speech? In what kinds of relationships between gesture and speech do listeners attend to the gestural channel? If listeners do attend to information received in gesture, how is this information represented— is it 'tagged' as originating in the gestural channel? In this article research is described that addresses these questions. Results show that listeners do attend to information conveyed in gesture, when that information supplements or even contradicts the information conveyed by speech. And information received via gesture is available for retelling in speech. These results are taken to demonstrate that gesture is not taken by the listener to be epiphenomenal to the act of speaking, or a simple manual translation of speech. But they also suggest that the information conveyed in a discourse may be represented in a manner that is neither gesture nor language, although accessible to both channels.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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