General

Difference between Body Language and Paralanguage

Main difference

The exchange of information is called communication and it can be done in many ways. We mainly use verbal communication to exchange information, although non-verbal communication serves this purpose as well. When it comes to nonverbal communication, you need to know its two important types, body language and paralanguage. Body language is the conscious or unconscious movement, postures, gestures and facial expressions that convey a certain message or information, while paralanguage consists in deducing the message or information from the non-lexical components of speech such as tone, intonation, pauses and volumes.

Comparison chart

Body language paralanguage
Definition Body language is the conscious or unconscious movement, postures, gestures and facial expressions that convey a certain message or information. Paralanguage is about deducing the message or information from the non-lexical components of speech such as tone, pitch, intonation, pauses, and volumes.
see or hear Body language can be observed or communication through it can take place by seeing. In paralanguage you need to listen to the speech to interpret the message.
Expressed using Conscious or unconscious movements, postures, gestures and facial expressions. Non-lexical components of speech such as pitch, pitch, intonation, pauses, and volumes.

What is body language?

It is the type of nonverbal communication in which the exchange of information occurs through conscious or unconscious movement of the body, postures, gestures or facial expressions. Apart from gestures or postures, facial expressions are also the important means of communication in body language. Nodding your head is one of the body movements that can show acceptance or rejection without much work. For example, when a friend of yours asks you about going on a hangout, he simply nods his head to accept or reject the deal. On the other hand, facial expressions are another aspect of facial expressions that have different meanings, opening up to different interpretations. For example, in some countries, direct eye contact is taken as a symbol of sincerity and honesty.What is Paralanguage?

It is the type of non-verbal communication message or information that is deduced from the non-lexical components of speech such as pitch, pitch, intonation, pauses, and volumes. Non-lexical means that are not related to words. In Paralanguage one has nothing to do with what the words actually say, the meaning in it is derived from the way the speech is presented or we can say that it is the non-lexical components of the speech. For example, a higher pitch with an accusatory tone denotes anger, while long pauses show a lack of confidence. Not only this, sometimes the language becomes dominant over the speech or the words that are used. For example, sometimes when we are upset, we gain some acceptance by saying yes,

Body language vs Paralanguage

  • Body language is the conscious or unconscious movement, postures, gestures and facial expressions that convey a certain message or information, while paralanguage consists in deducing the message or information from the non-lexical components of speech such as tone, intonation, pauses and volumes.
  • Body language can be observed or communication through it can take place by seeing, while in paralanguage it is necessary to hear the speech to interpret the message.
  • Body language can be expressed through conscious or unconscious movements, postures, gestures, and facial expressions, while paralanguage can be expressed through non-lexical components of speech such as pitch, pitch, intonation, pauses, and volumes.
  • In body language the whole body is involved, while in paralanguage parts of the vocal system are involved.

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