Quantifying gesture-speech synchrony

Pouw, W., & Dixon, J. A. (2019). Quantifying gesture-speech synchrony. In A. Grimminger (Ed.), Proceedings of the 6th Gesture and Speech in Interaction – GESPIN 6 (pp. 75-80). Paderborn: Universitaetsbibliothek Paderborn. doi:10.17619/UNIPB/1-812.
Spontaneously occurring speech is often seamlessly accompanied by hand gestures. Detailed
observations of video data suggest that speech and gesture are tightly synchronized in time,
consistent with a dynamic interplay between body and mind. However, spontaneous gesturespeech
synchrony has rarely been objectively quantified beyond analyses of video data, which
do not allow for identification of kinematic properties of gestures. Consequently, the point in
gesture which is held to couple with speech, the so-called moment of “maximum effort”, has
been variably equated with the peak velocity, peak acceleration, peak deceleration, or the onset
of the gesture. In the current exploratory report, we provide novel evidence from motiontracking
and acoustic data that peak velocity is closely aligned, and shortly leads, the peak pitch
(F0) of speech
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