multimodality, segmentation and prominence in speech
Speech and gestures meet at their departure point which is actionality. The same departing point keeps the two channels connected through their execution in the creation of meaning and interactivity. Both speech and gestures require segmentation in order to be studied and understood scientifically, as knowing what the units of analysis are is crucial to the scientific endeavor. Prominence is both a characteristic carried by prosody (be it defined functionally, physically or cognitively), as well as by several gestural acts, such as widening of the eyes, increased speed in hand motion, head tilting, among others. This link permits our joining multimodality, segmentation and prominence in speech as a topic for a scientific journal. As our knowledge about spoken language grows, thanks to empirically and experimentally based studies, the necessity for the never ending refining of methodologies is called into action, as well as the broadening of their boundaries. The understanding that gestuality actively interacts and partakes in communication is not a novel perception, as gesture forms a single system with speech and is an integral part of the communicative act (Kendon 1980; McNeil, 1992). However, the accurate pairing of how this interaction occurs is still not fully understood. Are gestures and speech additive, parallel, complementary? How are they linked in terms of the cognitive-neurological and motor routines involved?
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