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Abstract

Spontaneously occurring speech is often seamlessly accompanied by hand gestures. Detailedobservations of video data suggest that speech and gesture are tightly synchronized in time,consistent with a dynamic interplay between body and mind. However, spontaneous gesturespeechsynchrony has rarely been objectively quantified beyond analyses of video data, whichdo not allow for identification of kinematic properties of gestures. Consequently, the point ingesture which is held to couple with speech, the so-called moment of “maximum effort”, hasbeen variably equated with the peak velocity, peak acceleration, peak deceleration, or the onsetof the gesture. In the current exploratory report, we provide novel evidence from motiontrackingand acoustic data that peak velocity is closely aligned, and shortly leads, the peak pitch(F0) of speech.

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