Is "prosody" purely aural / auditory or can it also include visual perceptions?

Are facial-expressions (rolling of eyes to indicate sarcasm) considered as contributing to prosody?

What about hand-gestures like air quotes?


Prosody refers specifically to audible qualities of speech. The roots of the word are in song and tone and accent of a syllable. The other things you speak of are forms of non-verbal communication.

  • The non-linguistic parts of communication, such as gesture, facial expression, etc., are usually grouped under the term 'pragmatics'. The term 'non-verbal communication' could refer to sign languages, which are complete linguistic systems and not part of pragmatics. – Gaston Ümlaut May 11 '12 at 2:40
  • @GastonÜmlaut, I think you should make your comment an answer. – JLG May 13 '12 at 3:32
  • @JLG Actually I was wondering if it should be migrated to the Linguistics SE? – Gaston Ümlaut May 13 '12 at 3:52

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