In the body of research on the relationship between gesture and speech, some models propose they form an integrated system while others attribute gestures a compensatory role in communication. This study addresses the gesture-speech relationship by taking disfluency phenomena as a case study. Since it is part of a project aimed at designing virtual agents to be employed in museums, an analysis was performed on the communicative behavior of tourist guides. Results reveal that gesturing is more frequent during speech than pauses. Moreover, when comparing the types of gestures and types of pauses they co-occur with, non-communicative gestures (idles and manipulators) turn out to be more frequent than communicatively-meaningful gestures, which instead more often co-occur with speech. We discuss these findings as relevant for a theoretical model viewing speech and gesture as an integrated system.
Chiera, A., Ansani, A., Sessa, I., Cataldo, V., Schettino, L., Poggi, I. (2022). Gestures and pauses to help thought: hands, voice, and silence in the tourist guide's speech. COGNITIVE PROCESSING [10.1007/s10339-022-01116-y].