The paralinguistic signs are those that complement communication and are often used in interpersonal communication. Among the paralinguistic signs, corporal expression, and affective and emotional states stand out.
Silence, the sound of air and water, and music, among other elements that can complement a message, are also elements of paralinguistic signs.
There are elements that influence the differentiation of paralinguistic signs; some of these are intensity, volume or tone of voice, and fluency.
Examples of paralinguistic signs
Example No. 1
The Coca-Cola Company usually shows a person drinking a soft drink in its television commercials. When it goes for the last sip, it produces a sound that denotes satisfaction and smiles.
The paralinguistic sign used in this advertisement is the sound and the smile, since it conveys satisfaction and taste for the soft drink, making the recipient of the advertisement also have a desire to ingest the drink.
Example No. 2
Loss of color is an indication that the person’s health is not well and speaks volumes on its own.
Example No. 3
If a person frowns it gives the impression that they are upset. Frowning is the paralinguistic sign that characterizes an angry person. Therefore, even if the person does not express their annoyance, the gesture on their face reveals their feelings.
Example No. 4
Crying is one of the most recognized elements of paralinguistic communication since when a person cries it can be concluded that his emotional state is sad.
Example No. 5
Laughter is another notorious element in paralinguistic communication, along with crying. This is because they are globally recognized and often express specific feelings in people.
Laughter is synonymous with joy. When people smile or laugh, they express that they are happy.
Example No. 6
Facial expression by nature shows how people feel about something.
For example, raising an eyebrow gives the impression of wanting to delve deeper into the subject of what is being heard or read; in general, it is a sign of interest.
Example No. 7
The tone of voice or volume is a paralinguistic sign that is capable of expressing various feelings.
For example, if a person communicates with a loud and strong tone of voice, the recipient of the message may sense that the person is upset.
Example No. 8
Fluency makes the message understood. Poor fluency in speaking can cause the recipient to show nervousness or limited knowledge about the subject.
Example No. 9
An interviewer asks his interviewee a question. However, the interviewee does not give an answer that satisfies the interviewer’s question, since it is concise or has not been entirely clear. Therefore, the interviewer maintains silence, generating the other person the need to continue speaking.
Example No. 10
Two girls are chatting quietly and, at that moment, a third girl appears in front of them in a very ugly outfit. The two girls, in silence, exchange a series of glances with which they communicate their assessment of the other girl’s clothes.