Go to page

Bibliographic Metadata


Previous work has shown the positive effect of encouraging gestures in performing varioustasks; in these studies, the participants generally appeared to gesture more when explicitlyasked to do it. However, little attention has been paid to whether encouraging gestures alsoaffects other gesture features, i.e., gesture type and salience. In this paper we explore this issue.Twenty native Italian speakers described the content of short comic strips to a listener in 2conditions: Non-Encouraging gestures (N); Encouraging gestures (E). Co-speech gestures weremanually coded and classified according to gesture type (Representational vs. Non-Representational) and gesture salience (Salient vs Non-Salient). The results show thatinstructing speakers to gesture led to an increase in gesture rate, in gesture salience, and in thenumber of representational gestures. By contrast, in the non-encouraging condition the rate ofNon-Salient gestures was significantly higher, but no difference was found for Non-Representational gestures.