Body movement and speech rhythm in social conversation

  • Dittmann A
  • Llewellyn L
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The relationship between body movement and speech rhythm was newly formulated following Boomer's work on hesitations in speech: movements were predicted to occur early in phonemic clauses and at points following non- fluencies within clauses. A preliminary study of old data for which the move- ments were located by watching motion pictures bore out the prediction, and led to a more intensive study using more representative speech samples, and recording techniques designed to eliminate possible artifacts. The results were highly significant, but the amount of movement variance accounted for was small. The data collected by this method allowed direct test of statements by Pittenger, Hockett, and Danehy, and by Scheflen, whose claims of very close speech-movement relationships were found to be exaggerated. The linkage found between hesitations and movements was interpreted in terms of speech encoding processes.

Author-supplied keywords

  • social conversation, body movement &
  • speech rhythm

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  • Allen T. Dittmann

  • Lynn G. Llewellyn

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