Paraskevi Argyriou

Paraskevi Argyriou

School of Psychology
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Title of PhD: The inter-relation of speech and gestures: evidence from figurative and emotional language (provisional)

Supervisor: Dr Sotaro Kita

My research area is psycholinguistics, and I am particularly interested in exploring the inter-relation between language and co-speech gestures. This work involves the investigation of speech-gesture outputs especially when people use metaphorical language.


MRes (Distinction) Speech, Language and Cognition (University College London)

MSc (Distinction equivalent) Applied Linguistics (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

BA (First Class equivalent) Philology with Major in Linguistics (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)


I have a First Class degree in Philology with Major in Linguistics and an MSc in Applied Linguistics funded by the Greek state (IKY) at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. I also obtained an MRes in Speech, Language and Cognition at University College of London, where I worked under the lead supervision of Prof.Gabriella Vigliocco on the varying effects of emotion during word processing. Before I started my PhD studies, I gained working experience in Higher Education Institutions as a Teaching Assistant for the post-graduate module “Research Methods” at King’s College London, and as a Research Assistant on a project investigating “Students’ experience and retention in Higher Education” at St Mary’s University College Twickenham.

I am currently a PhD student at the University of Birmingham, where I work under the supervision of Dr.Sotaro Kita. I am aiming to explore how speech determines the way people gesture, and vice-versa, focusing on metaphorical language processing. I was awarded with a 2 years ESRC scholarship at the University of Birmingham.


Research interests

Language Processing; Gestures; Embodied Theory of Cognition ; Theories of Emotion; Research Methods

Other activities

  • University of Birmingham (a) Teaching Assistant for Undergraduate modules: Research Methods, Theoretical Issues in Non-Verbal Behaviors; (b) Plagiarism check using Turn-it-in software; (c) Creating updated bibliographic database with articles about gesture (on the basis of Web of Science searches), on behalf of the International Society for Gesture Studies.
  • Member of the International Society for Gesture Studies
  • Member of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association
  • Member of the Societas Linguistica Europaea
  • Private tutor teaching Modern Greek as a foreign language


Conference/ Poster Presentations

Argyriou, P. & Kita, S. (2013). "The Effect of Left-Hand Gestures on Metaphor Explanation". Paper accepted for poster presentation at the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Berlin, Germany, 31 July - 3 August 2013.

Argyriou, P. & Kita, S. (2013). "Left-Hand Gestures Advantage on Metaphor Explanation: Evidence for Gestures’ Self-Oriented Functions". Paper presented at poster session at the Tilburg Gesture Research Meeting (TiGER), Tilburg University, The Netherlands, 19 – 21 June 2013. (Best student paper award-$250 sponsored by the Cognitive Science Society)

Argyriou, P., & Kita, S. (2012). “ How metaphoric is it? The effect of gesture prohibition on interpreting metaphoric expressions”. Paper presented at poster session, ISGS 5th: The Communicative Body in Development, Lund University, Sweden, 24-27 July 2012.

Vinson, D., Argyriou, P., Rodriguez, S., and Vigliocco, G. (2011). “How can failure sometimes be better than success? Varying effects of emotion on lexical processing”. Paper presented at poster session, 17th Annual Conference on Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP), Université Paris Descartes, Paris, 1-3 September 2011.