references needed for statistics

George Elgin, Suzette Haden Elgin ocls at IPA.NET
Tue Nov 11 13:41:59 UTC 1997

November 11, 1997

Can anyone on this list provide me with references -- however vague -- for
two statistics that seem to appear all over the place (my books included)
without credits? They are: that, as an average, 65% of all communication in
spoken English is nonverbal; and that, as an average, more than 90% of all
*emotional* communication in spoken English is nonverbal. These figures
must go way back; they appear in notes I took in graduate courses, for
example. I posted the query on Linguist List and got a flood of responses.
With one exception (a source for a similar, but different claim about a
word/voice/body language division for spoken English information), all the
responses were notes saying the individual also needed references for those
two statistics. I'm hoping for better results here, and look forward to
your replies.

Suzette Haden Elgin
ocls at

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