paralanguage

[par-uh-lang-gwij]

noun Linguistics.

vocal features that accompany speech and contribute to communication but are not generally considered to be part of the language system, as vocal quality, loudness, and tempo: sometimes also including facial expressions and gestures.

Compare body language.

Origin of paralanguage

First recorded in 1955–60; para-1 + language
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for paralanguage

paralanguage

noun

linguistics nonverbal elements in speech, such as intonation, that may affect the meaning of an utterance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for paralanguage
n.

1958, from para- (1) + language.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper