The hand gestures that accompany speech have been the subject of considerable attention from a large number of researchers working from quite different theoretical perspectives within psychology. The theoretical perspectives range from cognitive psychology, with psycholinguists inter- ested in the computational mechanisms responsible for the generation of speech (e.g., McNeill 1985; Butterworth and Hadar 1989), to social psychology, with researchers primarily interested in the management of the social dynamics of conversation (e.g., Duncan and Fiske 1977), in which gesture may or may not play some important role (see Beattie 1983; Beattie, Cutler, and Pearson 1982). Academic interest in hand gesture is not new. The French philosopher Michel de Montaigne, writing in the sixteenth century, speculated that There is no motion, nor jesture, that doth not speake, and speakes in a language very easie, and without any teaching to be understood' (Montaigne, cited in Bevington 1984), and yet, as Krauss, Morrel-Samuels, and Colasante (1991) say even today, 'neither the process by which they are generated nor the functions they serve for speaker and addressee are well understood' (Krauss et al. 1991: 743).