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Semiotica

Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel


SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.275
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.661
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.191

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ISSN
1613-3692
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Tracking the distribution of individual semantic features in gesture across spoken discourse: New perspectives in multi-modal interaction

1Head of school of psychological sciences at the University of Manchester

2Lecturer at the University of Manchester

Citation Information: Semiotica. Volume 2011, Issue 185, Pages 147–188, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: 10.1515/semi.2011.037, May 2011

Publication History

Published Online:
2011-05-27

Abstract

Speakers frequently produce elaborate hand movements during talk that have been shown to serve a communicative function. Nevertheless, two-thirds of the semantic content of these hand movements is encoded linguistically elsewhere in the discourse (Beattie and Shovelton, Semiotica 184: 33–52, 2011). The present experiment demonstrated that while 62.9% of semantic information in gesture was elsewhere, most gestures (81.8%) retained at least one semantic feature that was never represented linguistically. Semantic features were more explicit when they occurred in gesture than when represented linguistically. Even in cases where the imagistic gesture appeared somewhat redundant, gesture at the narrative level preserves a discernable communicative function.

Keywords:: imagistic gestures; individual differences; semantic features; discourse; multi-modal communication; gesture-speech semiosis

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