Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."


Academic Paper


Title: Sociolinguistics in Gesture: How about the "mano a borsa"?
Author: Nicla Rossini
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.niclarossini.com
Institution: Università degli Studi di Pavia
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Abstract: This paper is an attempt to apply classical sociolinguistic methods to gesture studies, in order to clarify the basic relationships between the Social Network (see Hudson, 1997) and human communication. In the past, some attempts have been made to at least classify gesture variation according to geographic areas: among the most valuable ones, let us cite D. Morris (1977), who described human Nonverbal Behaviour as a whole, trying to analyse it within an Ethological-Evolutionary framework; and, Magno Caldognetto & Poggi (1997), who focused on the use Italian Emblems exploring their distribution according to sex, age, and formal versus informal register. Still, only Semantics has been so far taken into account in the study of gesture variation, and only Emblems has been analysed. I will rather focus on a wider concept of variation in gesture, which involves not only gesture semantics, but also gesture performance: since Nonverbal Communication is – as well as Verbal Communication - the result of a complex neuro-motor process, gesture performance and its comprehension must vary according to more complex parameters than those shown by a merely semantic analysis; These parameters involve Size, Timing, Point of Articulation, Locus, (which I define Explicit Gesture Morphology) and Restricted or Incomplete Varieties of the same gesture (see Rossini, forthcoming). In order to clearly exemplify my theory, I will present a different analysis of a well known Emblem, which is the mano a borsa, and I will show that this particular Emblem, rather than being performed or not in different communicative situations, by speakers of different age and sex, can be performed in two different variants, which I call complete mano a borsa and incomplete mano a borsa. The difference between the two synonyms - the second being used in more formal situations, more likely by young women - is conveyed by the fingers' articulation, which I better define Intrinsic Gesture Morphology.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Communication Studies, XIII: 3, 144-154. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Cross-Cultural Communication (CSF 2003).


Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page