12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

Pointing Gestures do not Influence the Perception of Lexical Stress

Alexandra Jesse (1), Holger Mitterer (2)

(1) University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA
(2) MPI for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands

We investigated whether seeing a pointing gesture influences the perceived lexical stress. A pitch contour continuum between the Dutch words "CAnon" ('canon') and "kaNON" ('cannon') was presented along with a pointing gesture during the first or the second syllable. Pointing gestures following natural recordings but not Gaussian functions influenced stress perception (Experiment 1 and 2), especially when auditory context preceded (Experiment 2). This was not replicated in Experiment 3. Natural pointing gestures failed to affect the categorization of a pitch peak timing continuum (Experiment 4). There is thus no convincing evidence that seeing a pointing gesture influences lexical stress perception.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jesse, Alexandra / Mitterer, Holger (2011): "Pointing gestures do not influence the perception of lexical stress", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 2445-2448.