Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton June 29, 2017

The “Negative-Assessment-Construction” – A multimodal pattern based on a recurrent gesture?

Jana Bressem and Cornelia Müller
From the journal Linguistics Vanguard

Abstract

This paper offers an analysis of a multimodal pattern of negative assessment, which takes as the starting point a particular recurrent gesture: the Throwing Away gesture. Recurrent gestures are characterized by a stabilized form-meaning pairing. In the case of the Throwing Away gesture, form and meaning are grounded in an “Away-Action-Scheme”: i. e., a socially shared, sedimented experience of removing unwanted objects at, on, or approaching a speaker’s body. Based on a cognitive-linguistic analysis of the gesture and its use in five different verbal contexts, we suggest that the Throwing Away gesture enters a verbo-kinesic construction that consists of the “Throwing Away Gesture + particles/negation/N/V/ADV”. The meaning of the verbo-kinesic construction is grounded in an embodied frame of experience in Fillmore’s sense: i. e., a schematized scene involving mundane actions, here ‘removals of unwanted objects’ (e. g., ‘Away-Action-Scenes’). Referring to Goldberg’s “Scene Encoding Hypothesis”, we propose that the “Negative-Assessment-Construction” designates scenes essential to human experience. With this focus, the paper puts forward a gesture-first account on verbo-kinesic constructions and suggests a possible candidate for such a multimodal pattern.

References

Andrén, Mats. 2010. Children’s gestures from 18 to 30 months. Lund University PhD dissertation.Search in Google Scholar

Andrén, Mats. 2014. Multimodal constructions in children: Is the headshake part of language? Gesture 14(2). 141–170.Search in Google Scholar

Bressem, Jana. submitted. Gesture-grammar-constructions.Search in Google Scholar

Bressem, Jana, Silva H. Ladewig & Cornelia Müller. 2013. Linguistic annotation system for gestures (LASG). In Cornelia Müller, Alan Cienki, Ellen Fricke, Silva H. Ladewig, David McNeill & Sedinha Teßendorf (eds.), Body – language – communication. An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction. (Handbooks of linguistics and communication science 38.1.), 1098–1125. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.Search in Google Scholar

Bressem, Jana & Cornelia Müller. 2014a. The family of away gestures: Negation, refusal, and negative assessment. In Cornelia Müller, Alan Cienki, Ellen Fricke, Silva H. Ladewig, David McNeill & Jana Bressem (eds.), Body – language – communication. An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction (Handbooks of linguistics and communication science 38.2.), 1592–1604. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.Search in Google Scholar

Bressem, Jana & Cornelia Müller. 2014b. A repertoire of recurrent gestures of German. In Cornelia Müller, Alan Cienki, Ellen Fricke, Silva H. Ladewig, David McNeill & Jana Bressem (eds.), Body – language – communication. An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction (Handbooks of linguistics and communication science 38.2.), 1575–1591. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.Search in Google Scholar

Calbris, Genevieve. 2011. Elements of meaning in gesture. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.Search in Google Scholar

Calbris, Geneviève. 1990. The semiotics of French gestures. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Calbris, Geneviève. 2003. From cutting an object to a clear cut analysis. Gesture as the representation of a preconceptual schema linking concrete actions to abstract notions. Gesture 3(1). 19–46.Search in Google Scholar

Fillmore, Charles. 1982. Frame Semantics. In The Linguistic Society of Korea (eds.), Linguistics in the Morning Calm, 111–37. Seoul: Hanshin.Search in Google Scholar

Fillmore, Charles J., Paul Kay & Mary Catherine O’connor. 1988. Regularity and idiomaticity in grammatical constructions: The case of let alone. Language 64(3). 501–538.Search in Google Scholar

Goldberg, Adele E. 1995. Constructions: A construction grammar approach to argument structure. (Cognitive theory of language and culture). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Search in Google Scholar

Harrison, Simon. 2009. Grammar, gesture, and cognition: The case of negation in English. Université Michel de Montaigne, Bourdeaux 3 PhD Thesis dissertation.Search in Google Scholar

Harrison, Simon. 2010. Evidence for node and scope of negation in coverbal gesture. Gesture 10(1). 29–51.Search in Google Scholar

Harrison, Simon. 2014. The organisation of kinesic ensembles associated with negation. Gesture 14(2). 117–140.Search in Google Scholar

Kendon, Adam. 1988. How gestures can become like words. In Poyatos Fernando (ed.), Crosscultural perspectives in nonverbal communication, 131–141. Toronto: C. J. Hogrefe, Publishers.Search in Google Scholar

Kendon, Adam. 2004. Gesture: Visible action as utterance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Ladewig, Silva H. 2011. Putting the cyclic gesture on a cognitive basis. Cogni Textes 6.Search in Google Scholar

Ladewig, Silva H. 2014. Recurrent gestures. In Cornelia Müller, Alan Cienki, Ellen Fricke, Silva H. Ladewig, David McNeill & Jana Bressem (eds.), Body – language – communication. An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction (handbooks of linguistics and communication science 38.2.), 1558–1574. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.Search in Google Scholar

Lakoff, George. 1987. Women, fire, and dangerous things: What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Search in Google Scholar

Langacker, Ronald W. 2009. Cognitive (Construction) grammar. Cognitive Linguistics 20(1). 167–176.Search in Google Scholar

McNeill, David. 2005. Gesture and Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Search in Google Scholar

Mittelberg, Irene. this volume. Multimodal existential constructions in German: Manual actions of giving as experiential substrate for grammatical and gestural patterns.Search in Google Scholar

Müller, Cornelia. 2010. Wie Gesten bedeuten. Eine kognitiv-linguistische und sequenzanalytische Perspektive. Sprache und Literatur 41(1). 37–68.Search in Google Scholar

Müller, Cornelia. 2014. Gestures as “deliberate expressive movement”. In Mandana Seyfeddinipur & Marianne Gullberg (eds.), From gesture in conversation to visible action as utterance, 127–152. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Search in Google Scholar

Müller, Cornelia. to appear. How recurrent gestures mean: Conventionalized contexts-of-use and embodied motivation. Gesture.Search in Google Scholar

Müller, Cornelia, Jana Bressem & Silva H. Ladewig 2013. Towards a grammar of gesture: A form-based view. In Cornelia Müller, Alan Cienki, Ellen Fricke, Silva H. Ladewig, David McNeill & Sedinha Teßendorf (eds.), Body – language – communication. An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction. (Handbooks of linguistics and communication science 38.1.), 707–733. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.Search in Google Scholar

Schoonjans, Steven. 2014. Modalpartikeln als multimodale Konstruktionen: Eine korpusbasierte Kookkurrenzanalyse von Modalpartikeln und Gestik im Deutschen. KU Leuven PhD dissertation.Search in Google Scholar

Schoonjans, Steven, Geert Brône & Kurt Feyaerts. 2015. Multimodalität in der Konstruktionsgrammatik: Eine kritische Betrachtung illustriert anhand einer Gestikanalyse der Partikel ’einfach’. In Jörg Bücker, Susanne Günthner & Wolfgang Imo (eds.), Konstruktionsgrammatik V – Konstruktionen im Spannungsfeld von sequenziellen Mustern, kommunikativen Gattungen und Textsorten, 291–308. Tübingen: Stauffenburg Verlag.Search in Google Scholar

Streeck, Jürgen. 2005. Pragmatic aspects of gesture. In Jacob Mey (ed.), International encyclopedia of languages and linguistics, 275–299. Oxford: Elsevier.Search in Google Scholar

Streeck, Jürgen. 2009. Gesturecraft. The manufacture of meaning. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Search in Google Scholar

Teßendorf, Sedinha. 2014. Pragmatic and metaphoric gestures – combining functional with cognitive approaches in the analysis of the “brushing aside gesture”. In Cornelia Müller, Alan Cienki, Ellen Fricke, Silva H. Ladewig, David McNeill & Jana Bressem (eds.), Body – language – communication. An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction (Handbook of linguistics and communication science 38.2.), Unpublished manuscript vols, 1540–1558. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.Search in Google Scholar

Teßendorf, Sedinha. 2016. Actions as sources for gestures. In Konstanze Jungbluth & Marta Fernández-Villanueva (eds.), Beyond language boundaries multimodal use in multilingual contexts, 34–54. Berlin & Boston: de Gruyter/Mouton.Search in Google Scholar

Zima, Elisabeth. 2014. Gibt es multimodale Konstruktionen? Eine Studie zu [V (motion) in circles] und [all the way from X PREP Y]. Gesprächsforschung-Online Zeitschrift zur verbalen Interaktion 15. 1–48.Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2016-08-30
Accepted: 2016-10-18
Published Online: 2017-06-29

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston