Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 45–66 | Cite as

Gestural beats: The rhythm hypothesis

  • Evelyn McClave


Gestural beats are typically small up and down or back and forth flicks of one or both hands. It has been assumed by researchers hypothesizing about the interaction of beats and speech that beats coincide with verbal stress. Microanalysis shows that gestural beats are organized in rhythmic patterns and do not necessarily cooccur with stressed syllables as previously assumed. Tone group nuclei appear to function as gestational points for rhythmic groups, which supports the theory that thinking utilizes words as cognitive tools and provides evidence that in some cases entire tone units are formed in advance. Evidence of an interpersonal gestural rhythm is also presented.


Cognitive Psychology Cognitive Tool Rhythmic Pattern Stressed Syllable Verbal Stress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evelyn McClave
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishCalifornia State UniversityNorthridge

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