Groups of vocal or non-vocal features combine to form recognizable signals, which are used in a conventional way.

An example of this is leaning over and whispering a secret. Alternatively, these features may involuntarily communicate personal information about the speaker: the speaker's identity, geographical origin and social dass, and wh ether he or she is in a good or bad mood, and even the conditions under which he or she is speaking. Although we can easily distinguish in principle between conventional and involuntary uses of paralanguage, the two are inextricably intertwined in the fabric of conversation.