Questions of multimodal communication, language and embodiment have become pertinent in a wide range of research areas: cognitive science, psychology, linguistics, computer science, anthropology, sociology, semiotics, and art. What is lacking is an overview of this fast growing but highly diverse field. This reference work provides encompassing documentation of how body movements relate to language and communication. Chapters authored by leading scholars outline the scope of the phenomenon, present current and past approaches, and provide multidisciplinary methods of analysis.
It offers a perspective on the body as 'part' and 'partner' of language and communication and contributes to some of the current key issues of the humanities and the sciences: the multimodal nature of language and communication, embodiment as a resource for meaning-making and conceptualization and as felt experience, and the emergence and evolution of language from body movements. It overcomes the longstanding dichotomy represented in the concepts of verbal and nonverbal communication, and promotes an incorporation of the body as integral part of language and communication. In 5 chapters the handbook documents the bodily and embodied nature of language.