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Cognitive Linguistics

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Volume 22, Issue 3 (Jan 2011)


Conceptual metaphors in gesture

Kawai Chui
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of English & Research Center of Mind, Brain and Learning, National Chengchi University
  • Email:
Published Online: 2011-06-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cogl.2011.017


This study investigates metaphoric gestures in face-to-face conversation. It is found that gestures of this kind are mainly performed in the central gesture space with noticeable and discernable configurations, providing visible evidence for cross-domain cognitive mappings and the grounding of conceptual metaphors in people's recurrent bodily experiences and in what people habitually do in social and cultural practices. Moreover, whether metaphorical thinking is conveyed by gesture exclusively or along with metaphoric speech, the manual enactment of even conventional metaphors manifests dynamism in communicating metaphors. Metaphoric gestures can provide salient, additional information about the aspect of the conceptualization which is the speaker's focus of attention in real-time multimodal communication.

Keywords:: Conceptual metaphor; gesture; embodiment; conversational discourse

About the article

Received: 2010-05-15

Revised: 2010-09-06

Published Online: 2011-06-28

Published in Print: 2011-08-01

Citation Information: Cognitive Linguistics, ISSN (Online) 1613-3641, ISSN (Print) 0936-5907, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cogl.2011.017. Export Citation

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