(redirected from paralanguage)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to paralanguage: proxemics



a branch of linguistics studying sound features that accompany speech but do not pertain to language. Paralinguistics studies, for example, loudness of speech, uncodified variations in intonation, the distribution of pauses, and sounds used to fill pauses, such as mmm … in Russian or “hmm …” in English.

The concept of paralinguistics was introduced in the late 1940’s by the American linguist A. Hill, but Soviet scholars had been investigating paralinguistic phenomena as early as the 1930’s (N. V. Iushmanov’s Extranormal Phonetics). In a broader interpretation, paralinguistics includes kinesics, the study of the facial expressions and gestures in relation to communication. Modern Soviet linguistics devotes a good deal of attention to paralinguistics partly because of the general theoretical interest in the structure and flow of communication. In addition, paralinguistics is studied for the practical reasons of determining how various speech techniques influence listeners and of identifying emotional states through speech.


Nikolaeva, T. M., and Uspenskii, B. A. “Iazykoznanie i paralingvistika.” In the collection Lingvisticheskie issledovaniia po obshchei i slavianskoi tipologii. Moscow, 1966.
Kolshanskii, G. V. Paralingvistika. Moscow, 1974.


References in periodicals archive ?
Simply put, through-reading minimizes or suppresses paralanguage, including rhythm in its multidimensionality.
Paralanguage (how the message is conveyed rather than what is conveyed specifically) conveys the exclusive messages in this exchange.
1996) proposed a school-based curriculum to teach nonverbal behaviors in areas of paralanguage (aspects of sound that communicate emotion), facial expression, space and touch, gestures and posture, rhythm and time, and personal hygiene.
Group Reference was shown one or more times by 85% of the students, while Paralanguage, Vocatives, and Agreement/Disagreement were shown one or more times by 81%.
The linguist aspects include the use of paralanguage, the use of the indirect passive voice by physicians, the use of "dehumanizing" language when talking about patients, the effects of cultural perception on language use, and methods of improving patient/physician communication.
A comprehensive understanding requires a study that encompasses other denominations such as kinesics, proxemics, paralanguage, olfactics, haptics and the like.
Paralanguage and social perception in computer-mediated communication.
Only within the last few decades have more researchers added the dimension of paralanguage to their analytical studies of human communication (Vargas, 1986).
facial display, eye contact, paralanguage, body language, clothing, proxemics, chronemics) provide paradigms for understanding how organizations use and respond to behaviors.
From a nonverbal communication perspective, several potential sources of misinterpretation include: communication environments as polychronic or monochromic-, personal space between speakers; body or kinetic motion: and paralanguage.
This means that we are not concerned here with the application of kinesics as part of the Basic Triple Structure of Human Communicative Behaviour, where gestures and body motion are simultaneous with verbal language and paralanguage.