Lecturer: Cornelia Ebert, ZAS Berlin
People gesture while they speak. They move their hands and arms in certain ways to accompany their speech. For example, in a route description as in (1)
- Then you will come by a church
Next to iconic gestures, there are other kinds of gestures that we will take a closer look at in the course, e.g. pointing gestures or emblematic ones, i.e. conventionalized gestures like the victory sign. There are different modes of performing a gesture (e.g. static vs. dynamic modes) and there are different alignment strategies of gesture and speech. We will discuss the semantic contributions and effects of all these different gesture types, modes, and strategies and closely look at current formal semantic theories that aim at capturing them.
In addition, gestures in sign languages will be investigated and we will try to approach the question how to define gesture in sign languages and how to draw the line between gesture and sign. Also, we will discuss how gesture initiates and guides language acquisition and how gestures can be used to help learning second languages.