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Non-verbal gesture and speech production

In his seminal work, Chomsky (1996: 41) declared that ‘Organs develop to serve one purpose, and when they have reached a certain form in the evolutionary process, they became available for different purposes, at which point the processes of natural selection may refine them further for these purposes.’ For instance, despite the main purposes of the fingers, fingers might serve other purposes such as communication with others. For example, a thumb up for OK, pointing to a place or an object and gesture of sign language (Tellier, 2009). The author considers that ‘language is part of shared biological endowment’ both inputs and outputs of the language might be considered in the way of other biological systems (Luciano, Fadiga, Roy, Fazio &Craighero, 2007) ‘as a product of natural selection’. In other words, language is the product of natural creation. Chomsky (1996), nevertheless, suggests that the evolutionary theory might not be applicable so far on language matters.

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Hand gesture and language comprehension.

There are a variety of ways in which the non-verbal gesture can play the role of facilitator in language comprehension such as retrieving words from one’s mind (Butterworth &Hadar 1989) and thus facilitate access to lexical affiliates (Feyereisen, 2006; Krauss &Hadar, 1999). Morford and Goldin-Meadow (1992) developed what is merely called hand gestures which helps children aged 1-2 years to understand what adults say, while the hand gesture helps toddlers to understand more complex communication (Kelly, 2001). The presence of the non-verbal gesture can help in the elimination of speech ambiguity (Holler & Beattie, 2003). This means that non-verbal gesture not only helps eliminate ambiguity but the non-verbal gesture also has meaning (Kelly et al., 1999). According to Capone and McGregor (2004), non-verbal gestures can do more than that and aid in supporting the performance of more complex activities such as language comprehension.

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Hand gesture and language expression.

As aforementioned, non-verbal gestures and speech are closely related and are synergetic (McNeill 1985; 1992; 2005). The occurrence of the non-verbal gesture and speech takes place in natural discourse (Feyereisen, 2007). Despite interrelated synergy between them, the non-verbal gesture occurs before vocalisation from which we can conclude that the non-verbal gesture aids speakers to organise their ideas and information in their mind and conceptualise them for verbalisation (Bernardis&Gentilucci, 2006; Kendon, 2004; Morrel-Samuels & Krauss, 1992). Alibali et al., (2000: 610) conclude that ‘the action of gesturing helps speakers to organise spatial information for verbalisation, and in this way, the non-verbal gesture plays a role in conceptualising the message to be verbalised’. In her experimental study on vocalisation, Feyereisen (2007) argued that slow vocal responses are associated with slower manual responses. However, there are some non-verbal gestures which help decrease cognitive loads during explanation of words for example, speakers remembered more when they gestured than when they did not gesture (Goldin-Meadow et al., 2001).

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Hand gesture and speech relationship

There has been consensus upon the relationship between non-verbal gesture and speech. Goldin-Meadow and Morford (1985: 146) observed that ‘…communication in humans is a resilient phenomenon; when prevented from coming out the mouth, it emanates almost irrepressibly from the fingers’. Individuals usually gesture during speaking while they move their hands, heads, arms and the whole body are involved in communication. Therefore, it can be stated that non-verbal gestures, speech and language are strongly connected in the following aspects: developmentally (Capone & McGregor, 2004; Tellier, 2009), neurologically (Bates & Dick, 2002; Iverson &Thelen, 1999: 20) and behaviourally (Mayberry &Jaques, 2000; Mayberry &Shenker, 1997; van Lieshout, 2004).

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Clinician- Client relationship

Saudi Arabia is a part of the globe and we speculate that the prevalence would remain the same as other countries (children, 5% and adult 1%). Bear in mind that we have a very low number in clinicians who specialized in fluency disorders. Thus, find an alternative way for stuttering treatment (virtual therapy) is therefore deemed necessary. 

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Welcome to the Speech Fluently Research 15

it is possible to say that nonverbal gestures, speech and language are strongly associated with the developmental side (Capone and ...
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Welcome to the Speech Fluently Research8.

The presence of nonverbal gestures reduces confusion and ambiguity (Holler and Betty, 2003). This indicates that they have meaning (Kelly ...
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Welcome to the Speech Fluently Research7.

Non-verbal gestures may facilitate language acquisition and verbal communication due to the fact that they play an important role (Caprice, ...
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