Gesture from a Linguistic Point of View

Instructor(s): Alan Cienki and Cornelia Müller

Over the past 20 years, the amount of research on spontaneous manual gesture with speech has grown rapidly. Much of the scholarship on this topic stems from the field of psychology. What theories and methods can be used to analyze gesture from a linguistic point of view? How does gesture relate to different categories of linguistic description, including lexicon, grammar/syntax, and prosody? Focusing mainly on IndoEuropean languages, the course will employ relevant approaches from conversation analysis and intonation unit analysis in the transcription and micro-analysis of speech and gesture. Notions from cognitive linguistics - such as conceptual metaphor and metonymy, blending, and simulation semantics - will be introduced as ways of analyzing these behaviors as cues for constructing meaning. The course will combine lectures with hands-on analysis, and assumes no previous experience with gesture studies, but background in linguistics from at least an introductory course is required.

A general introductory course in linguistics.