This work describes a method for investigating the timing relationship between spoken accents cued by intonation (phrase-level pitch accents) and gestural accents cued by abrupt cessation of movement ('hits'), to test the hypothesis that the two kinds of events are planned by speakers to occur simultaneously. Challenges for this kind of study include i) defining the set of gestural and spoken events to be included, ii) labelling sometimes-ambiguous events such as spoken pitch accents, boundaries of accented syllables and gestural end points, and iii) providing clear criteria for what will count as alignment between events in the speech and gesture streams. Application of this method will permit a detailed test the hypothesis that prosodic planning provides a framework for the computation of a production plan for both phonological/phonetic encoding of words and segments (Keating and Shattuck-Hufnagel ) and speech-accompanying gestures.
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