Several verbal and non-verbal features (for example, rhetoric, intonation, body movements, face expressions, etc.) contribute to make the communication effective during the television interviews. Thus, studying how verbal and non-verbal elements are associated and which functions they accomplish, favors the comprehension of the dynamics that make the political speech persuasive. Above all, the combination of aspects with similar functions improves the power of communication, increasing its impact on audience. For example, hand gestures are closely related to intonation and rhetorical strategies in order to give rise to the audience applause .
284 A. Gnisci, A. Pace, and A. Palomba The present contribution aims at exploring the coordination between verbal and non-verbal elements into the politicians’ television performances during the campaign of 2004 European elections in Italy. Specifically, we investigated the association of markers and repairs with hand gestures, in order to verify whether this coordination concerns rhythm and cohesion of the speech, rather than the semantic content. 1.1 Markers, Repairs and Hand Gestures Verbal and non-verbal elements are often coordinated in speech. Here, we consider three elements with similar functions: markers, repairs and hand gestures. As regards markers, they are words partly deprived of their original meaning. They favor the correct interpretation of a sentence, without contributing to the propositional meaning of it. Bazzanella [7-8] provided a useful linguistic framework where markers have two general functions, interactive and meta-textual. Interactive markers underline a shared background with the interlocutor, strengthening perception of social cohesion. Meta-textual markers concern the articulation of speech contents. Redeker  proposed a similar categorization, distinguishing pragmatic (playing an interpersonal function) and ideational markers (linked to the discourse elaboration). Interactive markers [7-8] are distinguished into: a) turn management (turn taking, turn maintenance and handover); b) attention requests; c) phatisms and modulation mechanisms. Turn taking signals (e.g., so, then, therefore, well ) are used to obtain the turn; turn maintenance cues to keep the turn; handover signals to indicate that the turn is finished and a new interlocutor is going to be selected. Attention requests (e.g., hey, listen, look ) are used to capture attention of the interlocutor. Phatisms (e.g., friend, my dear, as you know ) have a cohesive function; modulation mechanisms modify the impact of semantic content, for example expressing uncertainty or mitigating disagreement. Meta-textual markers [7-8] include: a) demarkers; b) focalisers; c) reformulations (paraphrases, corrections and exemplifications). Demarkers (e.g., in short, in sum, however, nonetheless ) give cohesion to the different parts of speech, indicating a change of topic. Focalisers (e.g., exactly, so there ) highlight the main elements of a discourse, focusing the interlocutor’s attention on them. Paraphrases (e.g., that is, I mean