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May 2022

Gesture, speech, and lexical access: The role of lexical movements in speech production

Author(s): Krauss, R. M., Chen, Y. S.

Journal/Book: Psychol Sci. 1996; 7: 40 West 20TH Street, New York, NY 10011-4211. Cambridge Univ Press. 226-231.

Abstract: In a within-subjects design that varied whether speakers were allowed to gesture and the difficulty of lexical access, speakers were videotaped as they described animated action cartoons to a listener. When speakers were permitted to gesture, they gestured more often during phrases with spatial content than during phrases with other content. Speech with spatial content was less fluent when speakers could not gesture than when they could gesture; speech with nonspatial content was not affected by gesture condition. Preventing gesturing increased the relative frequency of nonjuncture filled pauses in speech with spatial content, but riot in speech,vith other content. Overall, the effects of preventing speakers from gesturing resembled those of increasing the difficulty of lexical access by other means, except that the effects of gesture restriction were specific to speech with spatial content. The findings support the hypothesis that gestural accompaniments to spontaneous speech can facilitate access to the mental lexicon.

Note: Article FH Rauscher, Univ Wisconsin, Dept Psychol, Oshkosh, WI 54901 USA


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