Gesture and Silence as Indicators of Planning in Speech

  • Brian Butterworth
  • Geoffrey Beattie
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 4b)


A characteristic of human talk is that it is typically accompanied by bodily movements, most noticeably of the arms and hands. It is a matter of common observation that a subclass of these hand and arm movements appear intimately linked with the process of speech production: they are rhythmically timed with the speech, and often seem to reflect the meaning which the speech expresses. We call these movements Speech Focussed Movements (SFMs). These can be distinguished from other movements which accompany speech, scratches, twitches and the like, since the latter are not timed with speech, and do not in any apparent way reflect the meaning of what is said.


Planning Phase Speech Production Temporal Cycle Lexical Item Execution Phase 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baxter, J.C., Winters, E.P. and Hammer, R.E. (1968). Gestural Behaviour during a brief interview as a function of cognitive variables. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol., 8, 303–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beattie, G.W. and Butterworth, B. (forthcoming). Manipulation by instruction of the content and temporal structure of spontaneous speech.Google Scholar
  3. Boomer, D.S. (1964). Speech disturbance and body movement in interviews. J. Nerv. Ment. Dis., 136, 263–266.Google Scholar
  4. Boomer, D.S. (1965). Hesitation and grammatical encoding. Lan guage and Speech, 8, 145–158.Google Scholar
  5. Boomer, D.S. and Laver, J.D.M. (1968). Slips of the tongue. Br. J. Disord. Commun., 3, 2–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Butterworth, B. (1975)• Hesitation and semantic planning in speech. Jnl. Psycholing. Res ., 4, 75–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Butterworth, B., Hine, R.R. and Brady, K.D. (in press). Speech and interaction in sound-only communication channels. Semiotica.Google Scholar
  8. Deutsch, F. (1947). Analysis of Postural Behaviour. Psycho analytic Quarterly, 16, 195–213.Google Scholar
  9. Deutsch, F. (1952). Analytic posturology. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 21, 196–214.Google Scholar
  10. Deutsch, F. and Murphy, W.F. (1955). The clinical interview. New York: International Universities Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dittman, A.T. (1972). The body-movement-speech rhythm relationship as a cue to speech, encoding. In Siegman, A.W. and Pope, B. Studies in Dyadic Communication. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  12. Feldman, S.S. (1954). Mannerisms of speech and gestures. New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  13. Freud, S. (1905). Fragments of an analysis of a case of hysteria. In the Standard edition of the Complete Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 7, London: Hogarth, 1953.Google Scholar
  14. Goldman-Eisler, F. (1958). Speech production and predictability of words in context and the length of pauses in speech. Language and Speech, 1, 96.Google Scholar
  15. Graham, J.A. and Argyle, M. (1975)• The communication of extraverbal meaning by gestures. Int. J. Psychol. (in press).Google Scholar
  16. Graham, J.A. and Heywood, S. (1975). The effects of elimination of hand gestures and of verbal codability on speech performance. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 5, 189–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Henderson, A., Goldman-Eisler, F., and Skarbek, A. (1966). Sequential temporal patterns in spontaneous speech. Language and Speech, 9, 207–216.Google Scholar
  18. Kendon, A. (1972). Some relations between body motion and speech. In Siegman, A.W. and Pope, B. Studies in Dyadic Communication. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  19. McNeill, D. (1975). Semiotic Extension. In Solso (Ed.) Inform ation Processing and Cognition. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  20. Mahl, G.F., Danet, B., and Norton, N. (1959). Reflection of major personality characteristics in gestures and body movement. Paper presented at Annual Meeting American Psychological Assoc, Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept. 1959.Google Scholar
  21. Moscovici, S. (1967). Communication process and language. In Berkovitz, L. (Ed.) Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 3. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  22. Sokal, R.R. and Rohlf, F.J. (1973). Introduction to Biostatistics. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  23. Von Raffler Engel, W. (1975). The correlation of gestures and verbalisations in first language acquisition. In Kendon, A., Harris, R.M. and Key, M.R. (Eds.) Organisation of Behaviour in Face-to-Face Interaction (World Anthropology, Vol. II). The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Butterworth
    • 1
  • Geoffrey Beattie
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations