Tracking the distribution of individual semantic features in gesture across spoken discourse: New perspectives in multi-modal interaction

Doron Cohen, Geoffrey Beattie, Heather Shovelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Speakers frequently produce elaborate hand movements during talk that have been shown to serve a communicative function. Nevertheless, two-thirds of the semantic content of these hand movements is encoded linguistically elsewhere in the discourse (Beattie and Shovelton, Semiotica 184: 33--52, 2011). The present experiment demonstrated that while 62.9% of semantic information in gesture was elsewhere, most gestures (81.8%) retained at least one semantic feature that was never represented linguistically. Semantic features were more explicit when they occurred in gesture than when represented linguistically. Even in cases where the imagistic gesture appeared somewhat redundant, gesture at the narrative level preserves a discernable communicative function. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-188
Number of pages42
JournalSemiotica
Volume2011
Issue number185
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011

Keywords

  • Discourse
  • Gesture-speech semiosis
  • Imagistic gestures
  • Individual differences
  • Multi-modal communication
  • Semantic features

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