All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

How Given and New Information Shape the Form of Conversational Hand Gestures
Unformatted Document Text:  6 The initial question of interest to us in our preliminary observations was whether we would see any physical differences between the gestures and the referent actions. The data clearly indicated differences. People using gestures to portray actions they had performed earlier regularly eliminated, transformed, or added to aspects of their initial action. Their gestures were not simply re-enactments of the original hand action, they were selective and abstracted versions of the former action. Gestures depicting the same action also differed across and within individuals. That is, several people depicting the same action did so using different movements from each other, and if one person depicted the same action several times, each depiction was subtly different. Thus we could reject any theory that there might be a standard form for each hand action (i.e., an emblem or a stereotyped gesture). The question then became why the gestures looked different than the initial actions, and the answer seemed to be that the main influence on the form of a gesture was the communicative function the gesture was serving at the precise moment it occurred. In other words, each gesture appeared to be shaped by its immediate communicative function within its particular conversational or narrative context. A person may gesture various versions of the same action several times in succession, and each rendition may be quite different. The physical differences are necessary because each portrayal of the original action serves a particular function at a the precise moment it occurs. Before illustrating the way a gesture’s immediate communicative function shapes its form, I would like to give an example using spoken words. An analogy for gestural transformations within a narrative is the concept of verbal synonyms. We might choose one synonym over another at a particular moment due to our immediate communicative intent. Although our referent has remained the same, our choice of words to refer to it may change. The

Authors: Gerwing, Jennifer.
first   previous   Page 6 of 29   next   last



background image
6
The initial question of interest to us in our preliminary observations was whether we
would see any physical differences between the gestures and the referent actions. The data
clearly indicated differences. People using gestures to portray actions they had performed earlier
regularly eliminated, transformed, or added to aspects of their initial action. Their gestures were
not simply re-enactments of the original hand action, they were selective and abstracted versions
of the former action. Gestures depicting the same action also differed across and within
individuals. That is, several people depicting the same action did so using different movements
from each other, and if one person depicted the same action several times, each depiction was
subtly different. Thus we could reject any theory that there might be a standard form for each
hand action (i.e., an emblem or a stereotyped gesture).
The question then became why the gestures looked different than the initial actions, and
the answer seemed to be that the main influence on the form of a gesture was the communicative
function the gesture was serving at the precise moment it occurred. In other words, each gesture
appeared to be shaped by its immediate communicative function within its particular
conversational or narrative context. A person may gesture various versions of the same action
several times in succession, and each rendition may be quite different. The physical differences
are necessary because each portrayal of the original action serves a particular function at a the
precise moment it occurs.
Before illustrating the way a gesture’s immediate communicative function shapes its
form, I would like to give an example using spoken words. An analogy for gestural
transformations within a narrative is the concept of verbal synonyms. We might choose one
synonym over another at a particular moment due to our immediate communicative intent.
Although our referent has remained the same, our choice of words to refer to it may change. The


Convention
Submission, Review, and Scheduling! All Academic Convention can help with all of your abstract management needs and many more. Contact us today for a quote!
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 6 of 29   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.