Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The set of nonphonemic properties of speech, such as speaking tempo, vocal pitch, and intonational contours, that can be used to communicate attitudes or other shades of meaning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The non-verbal elements of speech, and to a limited extent of writing, used to modify meaning and convey emotion, such as pitch, volume, and intonation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the use of manner of speaking to communicate particular meanings

Etymologies

para- +‎ language (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • At Kent State University, sociologists William Kalkhoff and Stanford Gregory are studying the role of "paralanguage" - nonverbal aspects of speech such as tempo, intensity and pitch that indicate dominance in a debate.

    News - latimes.com

  • How words are delivered is a significant part of body language - known as paralanguage - and it is easy, with excessive concentration on words, to lose control of tone.

    Telegraph.co.uk: news, business, sport, the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Sunday Telegraph

  • On the other hand, the consumer market knows the indolent pleasures of the Internet paralanguage very well, as well as video and voice connectivity amusement.

    Palmisano's IBM To Make Sametime Work With AOL, Yahoo

  • To use it to describe one's negative reaction to an author's treatment of a text creates a dissonance of sorts - rape is bad, usually refers to things that women/men suffer at the hands of men/women, and has become something of a conversation killer/dampener due to the semantics and paralanguage embedded these days (especially in the US - I'd argue mostly due to rape survivor advocacy centers not not to any sort of puissant puritanism still lingering in my country).

    On Profanity: 4

  • That particular methodology called generative-transformational did not include paralanguage, kinesics, or cultural influences.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol V No 1

  • Effective communication techniques can eliminate different types of communication barriers such as: information overload, status difference, semantics, filtering, paralanguage, and poor interpersonal relations (Green,

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