Full Text

Paralanguage

Thomas O. Meservy and Judee K. Burgoon


Subject Linguistics
Communication Studies » Interpersonal Communication

Key-Topics language

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Extract

Paralanguage refers to the nonverbal elements of speech – such as vocal pitch, intonation, and speaking tempo – that can be used to communicate attitudes, convey emotion, or modify meaning. In simple terms, paralanguage can be thought of as how something is said rather than what is said. The study of paralanguage is known as “paralinguistics.” Early work on paralanguage emerged in the 1950s with the pioneering research of George Trager and Henry Lee Smith ( Hall & Trager 1953 ; Trager 1958 ), who noted that kinesics (body movements) and vocalics (voice quality and other aspects of the voice) are part of the language system. Building on their work, other researchers focused on vocal pauses (hems, ahs, coughs), speaking rate, volume, and quality ( Pittenger et al. 1960 ). Since that time, paralanguage has been studied and applied to numerous domains including psychiatry, child development, courtship (→  Interpersonal Attraction ), and deception (→  Deceptive Message Production ). The idea that how one says something may impact the meaning of what is said is a familiar concept. Most often, humans use paralanguage purposefully, though perhaps subconsciously, as many of these patterns have been learned since infancy. For example, when something is said sarcastically, the voice may take on a negative tone to accompany a positive word or phrase, or particular intonations may modify ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top