Paralanguage: What it is, How it is formed, Importance and MORE

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The Paralanguage it can be said as the whole set of things in the voice as long as it is non-verbal. That is, everything that is wanted to say through the manner of the word. This element is important in non-verbal communication, it can be the tone of voice or the speed of the voice.

In this way, it means that what can be said is not so important, but rather the way in which it is said. This can express any feeling. If you want to know more interesting things about this You can keep reading this article!

What is Paralanguage?

The Paralanguage it is the set of things of the voice as long as it is non-verbal. That is, everything that is wanted to say through the manner of the word. This element is important in non-verbal communication, it can be the tone of voice or the speed of the voice.

That is, they are all the elements that the voice has without counting the same words. This is to modify each of the characteristics of the phrases. In addition to changing the whole meaning of what you want to convey. This through communication.

It does not have to be done in person, since it can also be done through any form of communication. That is, through telephones, television and even the radio. Since in the same way you can notice the speed of the voice and the tone.

You will also be able to know the diction that the person who wishes to express himself has. This can be done consciously or unconsciously. In the same way, fatigue or energy is shown. Love or anger and even joy or sadness.

This means that what can be said is not so important, but rather how it is said. Since this is the way in which another person perceives any message through verbal communication.

In the same way, it should be noted that this concept includes body language. Since this, in some situations it is more important than the same verbal communication. This type of communication is all the gestures, movements of the body, its postures for a message.

How is the paralanguage formed?

The Paralanguage it is a series of gestures and things that usually convey a message. This can be the same or different from the message that you want to give with the voice or verbal communication. All this set of gestures are as follows:

The Intonation or Tone of the Paralanguage

This can vary depending on how high or low this tone is. It changes through the mood of the speaker. Normally in the face of a more intense emotion, this tone tends to become much higher.

An example of this is that if any person is speaking very loudly, it will seem that the person is aggressive or arrogant. And if a person is talking with much more laughter, it can be taken as not taking the conversation seriously or is cheerful.

The volume

The volume also manages to express how emotional the speaker is, for example if the voice is very soft or very strong. This means that a high or low tone of voice manages to convey many clues of how the speaker is feeling. And it is perceived by listeners.

It can be said that when the volume of the voice is somewhat high, the person may want to be imposing in any conversation. It is related to a topic of authority and dominance on the part of the speaker. Low volume tends to convey not wanting to be heard.

The Rhythm or Fluency

The rhythm of the voice can be varied or monotonous, slow or fast. It can also be flowing or maybe choppy. This type usually reveals a lot of emotion on the part of the speaker and slowly, it usually transmits passivity for the person.

If you have a lack of interest in the conversation, there are usually several interferences. This also shows evasion or nerves on the part of the speaker and it is not possible to understand the message that the person wants to give. The best is a varied rhythm, depending on the message.


Diction is the way all words are pronounced and articulated correctly. When speaking in a colloquial way, it is normal for this diction to be confused or omitted. And it can affect the way the message is received.

If a person usually always evades this diction, it can be perceived as a person with a low level of culture or speech. There are many examples of this, one may be that the person utters the last letters of any word or mispronounces it.


This has to do with how a language is constituted in a conventional way. Since this manages to cover the entire message that you want to give. Since this makes it more effective and influences in a good way all the people who are the listeners.

It is made up of various behaviors that each person has. It is considered, for example, that a man gives way to an older person or a woman. Since this manages to generate that the person is someone courteous.

They also tend to enter into this courtesy, when a person usually says things like “good morning” when entering somewhere. Or when you say “health” when a person sneezes. And even talk about yourself to a person who has respect for you.

What is it for?

The functions of the Paralanguage they are several in consideration, and it is based on the improvement of the understanding and expression of emotions and attitudes of the person who speaks. And how all listeners perceive it.

Its characteristics are complementary to the language itself, the verbal, the word, are the sounds or the absence of these, the silences. In the same way, the tone of the voice, rhythm when speaking, volume, etc.

Some of the functions of paraverbal language are to express feelings or emotions, motivate the interlocutor to activate their listening, that the information we share is processed by others or mark silences for the beginning of an oral presentation.

The way to regulate a conversation, by issuing an invitation tone to participate in it, as well as the silences that invite the interlocutor to present his version or opinion about what we are talking about. A better understanding of the communicative context could be achieved as a result of the functions of paralanguage.

According to studies by UCLA Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Dr. Albert Mehrabian, in one of his many investigations, about 35% of what is said is in the “how” rather than the “what” is said .

This is a rule that does not apply to all contexts, but what it shows us is that the strength and the way in which we transmit content can be valued or devalued. Proof of this is that texts tend to generate misunderstandings because they do not essentially express what we would like to express with spoken words.

We all have a vocal identity, which is made up of: height, speed, posture, diction. It is not about having a beautiful voice, but about how to use it in such a way that the message that is conveyed reaches its goal in the most precise way.

This is possible with the use and union of elements that contribute to the final result. In the same message you can make a person cry with excitement or get bored when listening. It all depends on how the elements of the voice are used.


It is considered extremely important since when a person when he speaks he can express from an affectionate tone to a serious and angry tone, everything depends on the intonation, volume and tone of his voice. This is paralanguage, the “music” of words.

The same content of words can be interpreted differently depending on these vocal components that highlight or qualify a certain communication of a message. The context in which it is done is also important.

In any type of social event it is very important not to let your tone of voice, its intonation or its rhythm denote anger, impatience, nervousness, insecurity. Because even if you don’t notice it, others may.

What is Paralanguage in Psychology?

The Paralanguage It is a set of non-verbal elements of the voice, the vocal component of a speech or message. Nor what is said is so important, but the way it is said. Since, it plays an important role in social relationships at any time.

This vocal component refers to issues such as the intensity or volume of the voice, the speed with which it is spoken and the rhythm, intonation, and so on. If you want to know more you can read the Luisa Blanco’s book called “Language Approach”.

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