Of Speech and Time

Siegman, Aron W. and Stanley Felstein 1979a. Preface. In: Siegman, Aron W. and Stanley Felstein (eds.), Of Speech and Time: Temporal Speech Patterns in Interpersonal Contexts. Hillsdale: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, i-x.

This book is intended as a reader for all those who are intrigued by the possibility that time as a dimension of speech reflects many of the important processes that occur during the production of speech. In addition, it can very well serve as a supplementary text in courses on psycholinguistics and human (particularly nonverbal and paralinguistic) communication. Finally, we hope that the content of the book will spur even further explorations of the chronography of speech. (Siegman & Felstein 1979a: x)
Yup, I found it because of the "nonverbal" aspect so I'm hoping that it touches upon issues that interest me, too. "The chonography of speech" demands the qualifier "of speech" since the "chronograph" itself is a specific type of watch that is used as a stopwatch.

Siegman, Aron W. and Stanley Felstein 1979b. Introduction. In: Siegman, Aron W. and Stanley Felstein (eds.), Of Speech and Time: Temporal Speech Patterns in Interpersonal Contexts. Hillsdale: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1-16.

Each sound" is not necessarily a word; it may be a vocal segregate ("mm-hmm"), or it may in fact be part of a word. More commonly, a sound will comprise several words that are not separated by any silence that can be detected by the human ear. In any case, each sound follows a silence and each silence a sound, and it is this succession of events that, in part, allows for a perception of the sequence as "occupying" or "taking up" time (Fraisse, 1963). (Siegman & Felstein 1979b: 1)
The situation is similar with behavior: movement and gestures do not coincide as a movement can comprise several gestures. The only sure thing thing is that movement is interspersed with non-movement, inactivity, stops and pauses or "positions". The major difference is that while speech is emitted in linear strings, behavior is nonlinear with simultaneous movements occurring in different parts of the body.
Other silences are related at least in part to the syntactic structure of the language. However, part of these silences and certainly other nonsyntactic silences are thought to reflect cognitive processes and/or affective states of the speaker. Moreover, the duration of the silences, as well as of the sounds and combinations of the two events, appear to be associated with certain personality characteristics attributed to speakers by listeners and by the speakers themselves. (Siegman & Felstein 1979b: 1)
"Cognitive processes and affective states" as if there are no affective processes ("emotional events") and that there is nothing stable about cognition (no "cognitive states"). There is a view of man embedded in this kind of language. There is definite influence by personality psychology characteristic of the late 1970s present.
They also found that in noncoactive episodes, the mother and infant tended to match the durations of their kinesic rhythms, a phenomenon similar to the achievement of congruece in adult conversations (Feldsein & Welkowitz, 1978). Thus, the authors suggest that both the coactive and noncoactive vocal and kinesic patterns can be seen as the temporal precursors of later adult conversational patterns, that indeed the patterns might be considered "protoconversation." (Siegman & Felstein 1979b: 3)
Protoconversation. What a neat word for mother-infant interaction.
In the final study, the relationship between gaze and planning is investigated. Planning should leave less time and processing capacity for other functions (for example, monitoring the behavior of the listener). It turns out that looking at the listener relatively frequently during planning phases interferes with the organization of the speech. (Siegman & Felstein 1979b: 13)
This seems commonplace since cognitive capacity is limited and semantic planning of speech and monitoring the audience both demand high amounts of cognitive resources. This is why it is wise to plan a speech thoroughly beforehand, spending "one hour of preparation for every minute of speech."

Jaffe, Joseph and Samuel W. Anderson 1979. Communication Rhythms and the Evolution of Language. In: Siegman, Aron W. and Stanley Felstein (eds.), Of Speech and Time: Temporal Speech Patterns in Interpersonal Contexts. Hillsdale: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 17-22.

The claim that speech is an example of gesture is an old one. It is at least as venerable as Paget's observation that speaking is in fact a series of precise gestural positionings of the tongue and the other articulators (1930). This fact has all too often been discounted, perhaps because articulatory gestures are largely invisible and are transmitted between speaker and hearer over an acoustic channel; they seem to take on greater reality as sounds rather than as movements. (Jaffe & Anderson 1979: 17)
That is because articulation of speech is perceptible to the speaker him/herself, but only tentatively visible for the listener.
The gestural basis of speaking has also been overshadowed by a preoccupation, both on the part of scientists and everyone else, with the remarkable capacity of human listeners to quickly extract the significance of an utterance, the meaning of which will remain with them long after the extract words, and hence the gestures, are forgotten. In contrast, visible gesture seems limited to the immediate communication of simple signals with which we usually associate the concept. Hence, the historical dichotomy between linguistics and kinesics. (Jaffe & Anderson 1979: 17)
Indeed, nonverbal behaviors are "fleeting" - since we do not invest them with meaning very much they tend to escape rememberance.
...we suggest that skill in interpersonal matching of communication rhythms (variously designated as congruence, convergence, synchrony, conversational coupling, etc.): (a) was an important principle in the evolution of language; (b) is still operative in the phenomena of interpersonal attraction and associative mating; and (c) provides a potent method for predictive studies in behavior genetics. (Jaffe & Anderson 1979: 18)
It is also variously called mimicry, imitation, isopraxism, mirroring, etc. I agree most with statement B.
More seriously, Wundt (1928), Bloomfield (1933), and paget 81930) display a progressively developing argument that implicates paralinguistic and nonverbal behaviors to explain how speech began at its evolutionary dawn. (Jaffe & Anderson 1979: 18)
If I'm not mistaken then Thomas A. Sebeok belonged to this camp.

Beebe, Beatrice, Daniel Stern and Joseph Jaffe 1979. The Kinesic Rhythm of Mother-Infant Interactions. In: Siegman, Aron W. and Stanley Felstein (eds.), Of Speech and Time: Temporal Speech Patterns in Interpersonal Contexts. Hillsdale: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 23-34.

The simultaneity shown for vocalization is common in kinesic communications such as mutual gaze and posture sharing (Stern, 1971). (Beebe, Stern & Jaffe 1979: 24)
Posture sharing. Right. Almost every investigator has a special term for people behaving similarly.
With respect to temporal organization in the kinesic realm, one of the most salient findings has been that in the period of 3 to 4 months, infant and mother both literally live in a "split-second world" where the average behaviors of each last approximately 1/3 seconds (Beebe, 1973; Stern, 1971). Further, this is a world of "microreactivity" in which each is extraordinarily sensitive to the movements of the other, each potentially "responding" to the other within less than 1/2 second (Beebe & Stern, 1977). (Beebe, Stern & Jaffe 1979: 24)
Microreactivity could actually link up with micropolitics, as people who share common interactional aims often develop this "split-second world" between themselves and you can spot the "outsiders" by marked difference in reaction time.


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