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How Given and New Information Shape the Form of Conversational Hand Gestures
Unformatted Document Text:  20 Complete retention: A retained gesture was an exact physical copy of a previous gesture. Retained gestures were rare. “ 11 and we’re supposed to rub it 12 away from 13 my body.” In gesture 11 the participant performs a small version of the required action to make the whirlygig fly up. In gesture 12 she performs a larger version of the same action. Gesture 13 is where 11 is retained completely- this gesture is an exact replication of gesture 11. The participant adds to the gesture by following it with an indication of the path the toy flew after her action. Transformed gesture: Previous gestures, once established as understood, might be altered. An earlier gesture might be enlarged or exaggerated to clarify a particular point. In the previous example, gesture 12 was an enlarged version of 11. The gesture’s function was to emphasize “away from my body”, thus one hand in the gesture rubbed quite dramatically away from the participant’s body. Alternatively, a gesture that was once in the foreground might fade into the background later: “ 14 twirl it away... 15 if you twirl it towards you then it hits you in the face. 16 Just twirl it and catch it...” Gesture 14 was a prototypical whirlygig launching portrayal, including the right hand moving away from the body while rubbing the stationary left hand and releasing. In gesture 15 the gesture was transformed. The rub was retained, but now the participant moved the right hand towards his body. In gesture 16 the hands rubbing became just the right fingers brushing past the left index finger. Immediately following the tiny rubbing motion, the participant did a life-sized clear catching motion. The gesture still contained the launching action, but it was transformed into such a small version to be almost

Authors: Gerwing, Jennifer.
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20
Complete retention: A retained gesture was an exact physical copy of a previous gesture.
Retained gestures were rare.
11
and we’re supposed to rub it
12
away from
13
my body.”
In gesture 11 the participant performs a small version of the required action to make the
whirlygig fly up. In gesture 12 she performs a larger version of the same action. Gesture
13 is where 11 is retained completely- this gesture is an exact replication of gesture 11.
The participant adds to the gesture by following it with an indication of the path the toy
flew after her action.
Transformed gesture: Previous gestures, once established as understood, might be altered. An
earlier gesture might be enlarged or exaggerated to clarify a particular point. In the previous
example, gesture 12 was an enlarged version of 11. The gesture’s function was to emphasize
“away from my body”, thus one hand in the gesture rubbed quite dramatically away from the
participant’s body. Alternatively, a gesture that was once in the foreground might fade into the
background later:
14
twirl it away...
15
if you twirl it towards you then it hits you in the face.
16
Just twirl it
and catch it...”
Gesture 14 was a prototypical whirlygig launching portrayal, including the right hand
moving away from the body while rubbing the stationary left hand and releasing. In
gesture 15 the gesture was transformed. The rub was retained, but now the participant
moved the right hand towards his body. In gesture 16 the hands rubbing became just the
right fingers brushing past the left index finger. Immediately following the tiny rubbing
motion, the participant did a life-sized clear catching motion. The gesture still contained
the launching action, but it was transformed into such a small version to be almost


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