Paralanguage is the area of non-verbal communication that emphasizes body language and voice nuances as means of expressing thoughts and feelings. vocal features that accompany speech and contribute to communication but are not generally considered to be part of the language system, as vocal quality, loudness, and tempo: sometimes also including facial expressions and gestures. British Dictionary definitions for paralanguage. Paralanguage definition: nonverbal elements in speech, such as intonation, that may affect the meaning of an | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and.


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Even vocal language has some paralinguistic as well as linguistic properties that can be seen lip reading, McGurk effectand even felt, e. paralanguage definition

Definition: Paralanguage

One can distinguish the paralanguage definition aspects of speech signals and perceived utterances: Sound localization functions in a similar way also for non-speech sounds.

The perspectival aspects of lip reading are more obvious and have more drastic effects when head turning is involved.

Organic aspects The speech organs of different speakers differ in size. As children grow up, their organs of speech become larger and there are differences paralanguage definition male and female adults.


The paralanguage definition concern not only size, but also proportions. They affect the pitch of the voice and to a substantial extent also the formant frequencies, which characterize the different speech sounds.

The organic quality of speech has a communicative function in a restricted sense, since it is merely informative about the paralanguage definition. Expressive aspects The properties of the voice and the way of speaking are affected by emotions and attitudes. Paralanguage definition, attitudes are expressed intentionally and emotions without intention, but attempts to fake or to hide emotions are not unusual.

Paralanguage | Definition of Paralanguage by Merriam-Webster

Expressive variation is central to paralanguage. While the term 'paralanguage' is often used to refer to non-verbal elements of speech, paralanguage definition should not be confused with kinesics, or the study of body paralanguage definition.

While kinesics is non-linguistic, it is not necessarily related to vocal or written language: Paralinguistic information, because it is phenomenal, belongs to the external speech signal paralanguage definition not to the arbitrary conventional code of language. The paralinguistic properties of speech play an important role in human speech communication.

The problem of how listeners factor out the linguistically informative quality from speech signals is a topic of current research. Some of the linguistic features of speech, in particular of its prosodyare paralinguistic or pre-linguistic in origin.

A most fundamental and widespread phenomenon of this kind is described by John Ohala as the "frequency code". It has its origin in the fact that the acoustic frequencies in the voice of small vocalizers are high while they are low in the voice of large vocalizers.

Paralanguage dictionary definition | paralanguage defined

This gives rise to secondary meanings such as 'harmless', 'submissive', 'unassertive', which are naturally associated with smallness, while meanings such as 'dangerous', 'dominant', and 'assertive' are associated with largeness.

In most languages, the frequency code also serves the purpose of distinguishing questions from statements. It is universally reflected in expressive variation, paralanguage definition it is reasonable to assume that it has phylogenetically given rise to the sexual dimorphism that lies behind the large difference in pitch between average female and male adults.

In text-only paralanguage definition such as email, chatrooms and instant messagingparalinguistic elements can be displayed by emoticonsfont and color choices, capitalization and the use of non-alphabetic or abstract characters.


Nonetheless, paralanguage in written communication is limited in comparison paralanguage definition face-to-face conversation, sometimes leading to misunderstandings. Specific forms of paralinguistic respiration[ edit ] Gasps[ edit ] "Gasp" redirects here.

What does paralanguage mean?

For other uses, see Gasp disambiguation. A gasp is a kind paralanguage definition paralinguistic respiration in the form of a sudden and sharp inhalation of air through the mouth. A gasp may indicate difficulty breathing, and a paralanguage definition effort to draw air into the lungs.