Gesture production and speech fluency in competent speakers and language learners

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


It is often assumed that a main function of gestures is to compensate for expressive difficulties. This predicts that gestures should mainly occur with disfluent speech. However, surprisingly little is known about the relationship between gestures and fluent vs. disfluent speech. This study investigates the putative ompensatory role of gesture by examining competent speakers’ and language learners’ gestural production in fluent vs. non-fluent speech. Results show that both competent and less competent speakers predominantly produce gestures during fluent stretches of speech; ongoing gestures during disfluencies are suspended.
In all groups, the few gestures that are completed during disfluencies are both referential and pragmatic. The findings strongly suggest that when speech stops, so do gestures, thus supporting the view of speech and gesture as an integrated system.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • second language acquisition, gestures, first language acquisition, speech fluency
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication[Host publication title missing]
PublisherTilburg University
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
EventTilburg Gesture Research Meeting (TiGeR) 2013 - Tilburg University, Tilburg, Netherlands
Duration: 2013 Jun 192013 Jun 21


ConferenceTilburg Gesture Research Meeting (TiGeR) 2013

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Humanities Lab (015101200), Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)