A Coding System with Independent Annotations of Gesture Forms and Functions During Verbal Communication: Development of a Database of Speech and GEsture (DoSaGE)
Journal of nonverbal behavior
Gestures are commonly used together with spoken language in human communication. One major limitation of gesture investigations in the existing literature lies in the fact that the coding of forms and functions of gestures has not been clearly differentiated. This paper first described a recently developed Database of Speech and GEsture (DoSaGE) based on independent annotation of gesture forms and functions among 119 neurologically unimpaired right-handed native speakers of Cantonese (divided
... to three age and two education levels), and presented findings of an investigation examining how gesture use was related to age and linguistic performance. Consideration of these two factors, for which normative data are currently very limited or lacking in the literature, is relevant and necessary when one evaluates gesture employment among individuals with and without language impairment. Three speech tasks, including monologue of a personally important event, sequential description, and story-telling, were used for elicitation. The EUDICO Linguistic ANnotator (ELAN) software was used to independently annotate each participant's linguistic information of the transcript, forms of gestures used, and the function for each gesture. About one-third of the subjects did not use any co-verbal gestures. While the majority of gestures were non-content-carrying, which functioned mainly for reinforcing speech intonation or controlling speech flow, the content-carrying ones were used to enhance speech content. Furthermore, individuals who are younger or linguistically more proficient tended to use fewer gestures, suggesting that normal speakers gesture differently as a function of age and linguistic performance.