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Concept of Motion in Speech and Gesture


This study examines how language and age specificities influence the way in which French and Czech children and adults talk, gesture, and think about the category of voluntary motion events. Its theoretical framework combines (1) Talmy's verb-framed/satellite-framed language typology, (2) Whorf's hypothesis of linguistic relativity, and (3) McNeill's conception of gesture and speech. Analysis of verbal and gestural expression of motion reveales that (a), while there are considerable verbal differences, French and Czech gestures are far more similar than expected, (b) French speakers typically convey the same information in speech and gesture, but Czech speakers prefer express more information in speech than in gesture, (c) children adopt adult language-specific descriptive patterns very early, and finally (d) type of motion on its own right influences the way that motion is verbally and gesturally represented. These findings are discussed in terms of the role of gesture in the expression of speakers' intentions.
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hal-00989834 , version 1 (12-05-2014)


  • HAL Id : hal-00989834 , version 1


Katerina Fibigerova, Michèle Guidetti, Lenka Sulova. Concept of Motion in Speech and Gesture: Comparison of French and Czech Children and Adults. Multimodality - Language, Culture and Education, Jul 2012, Toulouse, France. ⟨hal-00989834⟩
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