On what happens in speech and gesture when communication is unsuccessful

Marieke HoetjesTilburg University
Emiel KrahmerTilburg University
Marc SwertsTilburg University

Abstract

Repeated references have been found to be reduced as compared to references that are not repeated, both in speech and in gesture. In the present study we wanted to see whether certain factors can inhibit this reduction in repeated references. In a production experiment, speakers were confronted with negative feedback after an initial description of an object, indicating that the communication was unsuccessful. We found that after initial negative feedback, second references were reduced with regard to all speech variables. When the speakers were confronted with additional negative feedback, the ensuing third references were increased in the number of words and the duration, as compared to the second references, but further reduced in their speech rate. Gesture rate increased in third references as compared to initial references. After (repeated) instances of unsuccessful communication, speakers speak slower and increase their gesture rate, thereby making their repeated references clearer for the addressee.

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On what happens in speech and gesture when communication is unsuccessful (345 KB)



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