According to an article on ScienceDaily, we unconsciously use ‘verbal gestures’ when we speak. These verbal gestures or ‘analog acoustic expressions’ add extra information to our utterances not provided by the words themselves. For example, when we talk about things, such as the stock market, going up or down, we tend to raise or lower our voices slightly at the ends of sentences. Saying words closetogether can emphasis proximity, while distance can be emphasised by spacing words out more. If we talk about something that’s moving or happening quickly, we tend to talk more quickly, while we tend to slow down to talk about slow moving things.
This is apparently quite a new area of research and sounds very interesting. I’ll certainly listen out for such verbal gestures from now on.