Friday, May 16, 2014

(Haptic) pair-a-linguistic pronunciation teaching

Clip art: Clker
Saw a recent discussion thread that (incorrectly) identified gesture as a paralinguistic feature of speech. That term, paralanguage, typically refers to pitch, loudness, rate and fluency. Gesture or body movement may be synchronized with speech in a way that it can reflect some aspect of paralanguage, as in when arm gesticulating is coordinated with the stress or rhythm pattern, such that a baton-like gesture comes down on key points for emphasis in a lecture, etc.

Actually, I like that idea, combing or pairing (haptic-anchored) gesture with paralanguage. In EHIEP work we do something of that with pitch, rate and fluency, using special gestures terminating in touch, what we refer to as pedagogical movement patterns (PMPs), that function to control those three features of speech in various ways (typically done in either modelling or error correction or expressive oral reading of fixed texts). To see a demonstration of each go to the Demo page on the AH-EPS website:

pitch - the Expressiveness PMP
rate - the Rhythm Fight Club PMP
fluency - the Tai Chi Fluency PMP

We have yet to figure out an effective PMP for loudness. If you can think of one . . . give us a shout!

Keep in touch.

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