Banner Portal



How to Cite

Mello H, Ferrari L, Rocha B. Editorial: multimodality, segmentation and prominence in speech. J. of Speech Sci. [Internet]. 2020 Sep. 9 [cited 2024 May 26];9(00):01-6. Available from:


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?


Bressem J, Ladewig SH., Müller C. Linguistic Annotation System for Gestures (LASG). In Müller C, Cienki A, Fricke E. Ladewig SH., McNeill D, Teßendorf S. (eds.), Body – Language – Communication: An International Handbook on Multimodality in Human Interaction (Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science 38) Vol. 1, Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2013, 1098–1125.

Capussotti G. La multimodalità in italiano e inglese LS: relazione tra gesto e discorso nei bambini di una scuola primaria. Unpublished Master’s Degree Thesis, University of Pavia, Italy, 2019.

Cresti E. Corpus di italiano parlato. Firenze: Accademia della Crusca, 2000.

de Ruiter J P. The production of gesture and speech. In McNeill, D (ed.) Language and gesture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, 284-311.

Ekman P, Friesen WV, Hager JC. The Facial Action Coding System. Salt Lake City: Research Nexus, 2002.

Frota S, Oliveira P, Cruz M, Vigário M. P-ToBI: tools for the transcription of Portuguese prosody. Lisboa: Laboratório de Fonética, CLUL/FLUL, 2015b. ISBN: 978-989-95713-9-6. []

James G, Witten D, Hastie T, Tibshirani R. An Introduction to Statistical Learning. New York: Springer, 2013.

Jefferson G. Glossary of transcript symbols with an introduction. In: Lerner G (ed.). Conversation analysis: Studies from the first generation. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2004, 13–31.

Kendon A. Gesticulation and speech: two aspects of the process of utterance. Relationship of verbal and nonverbal communication (ed. & Key MR), pp. 207–228. The Hague, The Netherlands: Mouton, 1980.

Kita S, Özyürek A. What does cross-linguistic variation in semantic coordination of speech and gesture reveal? Evidence for an interface representation of spatial thinking and speaking. Journal of Memory and Language 48(1), 16-32.

Krauss R M, Hadar, U. The role of speech-related arm/hand gestures in word retrieval. In: Campbell R, Messing L. (eds.) Gesture, Speech, and Sign. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, 93–116.

McNeill D. Hand and mind: what gestures reveal about thought. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Moneglia M, Raso T. Notes on the Language into Act Theory. In Raso T, Mello H. (eds), Spoken corpora and linguistics studies. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2014, 468–494.

Pierrehumbert J. The phonology and phonetics of English intonation. Bloomington: Indiana University Linguistics Club. PhD thesis, MIT, 1980. [Published 1987 by IULC edition, Bloomington, IN.].

Prieto P, Roseano P. Prosody: Stress, Rhythm, and Intonation. In: Geeslin KL. (ed.) The Cambridge Handbook of Spanish Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 211-236, 2018.

Schmidt T, Wörner K. EXMARaLDA – Creating, analysing and sharing spoken language corpora for pragmatic research. Pragmatics 19, 2009, 565–582.

Wagner P, Malisz Z, Kopp S. Gesture and speech in interaction: an overview. Speech Communication 57, 2014, 209-232.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2020 Heliana Mello, Lúcia Ferrari, Bruno Rocha


Download data is not yet available.