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The Role of Prosodic Stress and Speech Perturbation on the Temporal Synchronization of Speech and Deictic Gestures

Rusiewicz, Heather Leavy (2010) The Role of Prosodic Stress and Speech Perturbation on the Temporal Synchronization of Speech and Deictic Gestures. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Gestures and speech converge during spoken language production. Although the temporal relationship of gestures and speech is thought to depend upon factors such as prosodic stress and word onset, the effects of controlled alterations in the speech signal upon the degree of synchrony between manual gestures and speech is uncertain. Thus, the precise nature of the interactive mechanism of speech-gesture production, or lack thereof, is not agreed upon or even frequently postulated. In Experiment 1, syllable position and contrastive stress were manipulated during sentence production to investigate the synchronization of speech and pointing gestures. An additional aim of Experiment 2 was to investigate the temporal relationship of speech and pointing gestures when speech is perturbed with delayed auditory feedback (DAF). Comparisons between the time of gesture apex and vowel midpoint (GA-VM) for each of the conditions were made for both Experiment 1 and Experiment 2. Additional comparisons of the interval between gesture launch midpoint to vowel midpoint (GLM-VM), total gesture time, gesture launch time, and gesture return time were made for Experiment 2. The results for the first experiment indicated that gestures were more synchronized with first position syllables and neutral syllables as measured GA-VM intervals. The first position syllable effect was also found in the second experiment. However, the results from Experiment 2 supported an effect of contrastive pitch effect. GLM-VM was shorter for first position targets and accented syllables. In addition, gesture launch times and total gesture times were longer for contrastive pitch accented syllables, especially when in the second position of words. Contrary to the predictions, significantly longer GA-VM and GLM-VM intervals were observed when individuals responded under provided delayed auditory feedback (DAF). Vowel and sentence durations increased both with (DAF) and when a contrastive accented syllable was produced. Vowels were longest for accented, second position syllables. These findings provide evidence that the timing of gesture is adjusted based upon manipulations of the speech stream. A potential mechanism of entrainment of the speech and gesture system is offered as an explanation for the observed effects.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rusiewicz, Heather
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairIverson, Janajiverson@pitt.eduJIVERSON
Committee CoChairShaiman, Susanshaiman@pitt.eduSHAIMAN
Committee MemberWilliams,
Committee MemberYaruss, J. Scottjsyaruss@pitt.eduJSYARUSS
Date: 20 May 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 12 April 2010
Approval Date: 20 May 2010
Submission Date: 20 April 2010
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Communication Science and Disorders
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: entrainment; gesture; perturbation; pitch accent; prosody; synchrony
Other ID:, etd-04202010-145329
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:39
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


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