ISGS: International Society for Gesture Studies


Other publications on Gesture

Recent and forthcoming books, special issues, and other publications focusing on gesture. The journal Gesture and the book series Gesture Studies are covered on separate pages.

Please contact us if you have suggestions for other books to add to this page.



Narrative development in young children: Gesture, imagery, and cohesion (2015)

Narrative development in young children: Gesture, imagery, and cohesion

Elena T. Levy and David McNeill
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

As children begin to use language in early childhood, they produce increasingly large units of coherent speech, including narrative descriptions of events. This book examines the process of narrative development in young children, focusing on the development of 'cohesion' - the use of speech and gesture to create coherent perspectives on events. Surveying early narrative development in which gesture plays an integral part, the book explores the development of cohesive, clause-linking devices during the period from age two to three. Illustrated with longitudinal cases studies, the book examines the crib-talk of two-year-old Emily and compares it to the discourse patterns of storybooks and nursery rhymes, and to her father's pre-bedtime routines. In a second case study, the authors trace the changing relationships between speech and gesture in the spontaneous narratives of two-year-old Ella. This book will be invaluable to students and researchers in language acquisition, developmental psychology and gesture studies.

For more information: http://www.cambridge.org/co/academic/subjects/languages-linguistics/psycholinguistics-and-neurolinguistics/narrative-development-young-children-gesture-imagery-and-cohesion



Kinesis: The ancient depiction of gesture, motion, and emotion (2015)

Kinesis: The ancient depiction of gesture, motion, and emotion

Edited by Christina Clark, Edith Foster and Judith P. Hallett
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press

Kinesis: The Ancient Depiction of Gesture, Motion, and Emotion analyzes the depiction of emotions, gestures, and nonverbal behaviors in ancient Greek and Roman texts, and considers the precise language depicting them. Individual contributors examine genres ranging from historiography and epic to tragedy, philosophy, and vase decoration. They explore evidence as disparate as Pliny’s depiction of animal emotions, Plato’s presentation of Aristophanes’ hiccups, and Thucydides’ use of verb tenses. Sophocles’ deployment of silence is considered, as are Lucan’s depiction of death and the speaking objects of the medieval Alexander Romance.

Ancient authors’ depictions of emotion, gesture, and nonverbal behavior are intrinsically relevant to psychological, social, and anthropological studies of the ancient world, and are perhaps even more important to those who study the texts themselves and try to understand them. The volume will be relevant to scholars studying Greek and Roman society and literature, as well as to those who study the imitation of ancient literature in later societies. Since jargon is avoided and all passages in ancient languages are translated, the volume will be suitable for students from the upper undergraduate level.

For more information: https://www.press.umich.edu/7684934/kinesis



Ostension: Word learning and the embodied mind (2014)

Ostension: Word learning and the embodied mind

Chad Engelland
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Ostension is bodily movement that manifests our engagement with things, whether we wish it to or not. Gestures, glances, facial expressions: all betray our interest in something. Ostension enables our first word learning, providing infants with a prelinguistic way to grasp the meaning of words. Ostension is philosophically puzzling; it cuts across domains seemingly unbridgeable—public–private, inner–outer, mind–body. In this book, Chad Engelland offers a philosophical investigation of ostension and its role in word learning by infants.

Engelland discusses ostension (distinguishing it from ostensive definition) in contemporary philosophy, examining accounts by Quine, Davidson, and Gadamer, and he explores relevant empirical findings in psychology, evolutionary anthropology, and neuroscience. He offers original studies of four representative historical thinkers whose work enriches the understanding of ostension: Wittgenstein, Merleau-Ponty, Augustine, and Aristotle. And, building on these philosophical and empirical foundations, Engelland offers a meticulous analysis of the philosophical issues raised by ostension. He examines the phenomenological problem of whether embodied intentions are manifest or inferred; the problem of what concept of mind allows ostensive cues to be intersubjectively available; the epistemological problem of how ostensive cues, notoriously ambiguous, can be correctly understood; and the metaphysical problem of the ultimate status of the key terms in his argument: animate movement, language, and mind. Finally, he argues for the centrality of manifestation in philosophy. Taking ostension seriously, he proposes, has far-reaching implications for thinking about language and the practice of philosophy.

For more information: http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/ostension



The Social Psychology of Nonverbal Communication (2014)

The Social Psychology of Nonverbal Communication

Edited by Aleksandra Kostić and Derek Chadee
New York: Palgrave Macmillan

The Social Psychology of Nonverbal Communication gathers together leading scholars of nonverbal communication from around the world to offer insight into a range of issues within the discipline. The collection presents contemporary research and theorization of the nature, functions, and modalities of nonverbal behavior in an array of circumstances, with the aim of rethinking current approaches to the subject.

This book will be of great interest to academics and nonverbal communication researchers, as well as to anyone who wants to interpret and better understand nonverbal behavior.

For more information: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/the-social-psychology-of-nonverbal-communication-aleksandra-kostic/?K=9781137345851



Wenn Hände eine neue Sprache lernen. Gestikerwerb bei französisch-, spanisch- und russischsprachigen Deutsch-L2-Lernern (2014)

Wenn Hände eine neue Sprache lernen.

Galina Putjata
Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang

Gefühle. Gedanken. Emotionen. Dem, was die Sprache zu beschreiben vermag, wird oft erst durch eine Bewegung der Hand Nachdruck verliehen. Dabei unterliegt auch die Gestik sprachlicher und kultureller Variation. Was geschieht, wenn wir den sprachlichen Code wechseln? Verbleibt uns die Gestik als identitäres Merkmal oder passen sich auch unsere Hände der neuen Sprache an? Ausgehend von authentischen Interviews mit spanisch-, französisch- und russischsprachigen Deutschlernern wird empirisch die Frage nach Möglichkeiten und Grenzen des Gestikerwerbs beantwortet. An der Schnittstelle zwischen Gestikforschung und Zweitspracherwerb angesiedelt, bietet das Buch eine Annäherung an die Prozesse der Gestikherausbildung.

For more information: http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=79593



From Gesture in Conversation to Visible Action as Utterance: Essays in honor of Adam Kendon (2014)

From Gesture in Conversation to Visible Action as Utterance

Edited by Mandana Seyfeddinipur and Marianne Gullberg
Amsterdam: John Benjamins

DOI: 10.1075/z.188

Language use is fundamentally multimodal. Speakers use their hands to point to locations, to represent content and to comment on ongoing talk; they position their bodies to show their orientation and stance in interaction; they use facial displays to comment on what is being said; and they engage in mutual gaze to establish intersubjectivity. This volume brings together studies by leading scholars from several fields on gaze and facial displays, on the relationship between gestures, sign, and language, on pointing and other conventionalized forms of manual expression, on gestures and language evolution, and on gestures in child development. The papers in this collection honor Adam Kendon whose pioneering work has laid the theoretical and methodological foundations for contemporary studies of multimodality, gestures, and utterance visible action.

For more information: https://benjamins.com/#catalog/books/z.188/main

Special bonus
Although the release of this book at the ISGS 2014 conference in San Diego was meant to come as a surprise to Adam, for some reason or another he had suspected that something was about to happen. He had therefore prepared a poem on "Utterance Dedicated Visible Bodily Action" in advance. A video recording of his reading of the poem is available here (mp4 video).



Theme issue: Language as a multimodal phenomenon: implications for language learning, processing and evolution (2014)

Theme issue of Philosophical Transactions B.
Edited by Gabriella Vigliocco, Pamela Perniss, Robin Thompson and David Vinson
Royal Society Publishing

Language as a multimodal phenomenon

For many decades, the scientific study of language has treated linguistic processes as special and separable from other elements of communication and thought, with languages made up of arbitrary collections of symbols and rules that govern their use. This way of thinking is largely related to the way language has been studied: considering speech or written text in isolation, and focusing mainly on English and other related languages with very similar properties. However, we seldom communicate just using language by itself; face-to-face communication includes meaningful information conveyed by the tone of voice, facial expressions, and movement of the hands, head and body. Moreover, the arbitrary nature of linguistic symbols becomes less certain with a wider scope across the world's languages, including spoken languages with many more sound-symbolic forms and especially sign languages for which visual resemblance between language and things in the world is far more evident.

This theme issue discusses how taking a broader, multimodal approach to language, seeing language as part of a broader system of human communication, may change the way we think about the nature of language: how it is learned, how it is used, and how it may have developed in the first place.

For more information: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1651.toc

A print version is also available at the special price of £35.00. You can order online via the above web page (enter special code TB 1651 when prompted) or, alternatively, you can contact debbie.vaughan@royalsociety.org



Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia: Cultural, Communicative and Semiotic Perspectives. (2013/1988)

Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia

Adam Kendon
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Originally published in 1988, this was the first book-length study ever to be published on the subject of sign language as a means of communication among Australian Aborigines. The work presented in this book filled an important gap in Aboriginal ethnography and linguistics. It also marked a major advance in the understanding of the relationship between medium of expression, code structure and communication; the processes by which spoken language may be represented in a non-vocal medium; and native speaker awareness of spoken language structure. Based on fieldwork conducted over a span of nine years, the volume presents a thorough analysis of the structure of sign languages and their relationship to spoken languages.

For more information: http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item7167288/?site_locale=en_GB



How Language Began: Gesture and Speech in Human Evolution (2012)

Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia

David McNeill
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Human language is not the same as human speech. We use gestures and signs to communicate alongside, or instead of, speaking. Yet gestures and speech are processed in the same areas of the human brain, and the study of how both have evolved is central to research on the origins of human communication. Written by one of the pioneers of the field, this is the first book to explain how speech and gesture evolved together into a system that all humans possess. Nearly all theorizing about the origins of language either ignores gesture, views it as an add-on or supposes that language began in gesture and was later replaced by speech. David McNeill challenges the popular 'gesture-first' theory that language first emerged in a gesture-only form and proposes a groundbreaking theory of the evolution of language which explains how speech and gesture became unified.

For more information: http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item6679012/How%20Language%20Began/?site_locale=en_GB



Reinterpreting Gesture as Language. Language "in Action". (2012)

Reinterpreting Gesture as Language

Nicla Rossini
Amsterdam: IOS Press

Gesture is integral to human language. Its function within human communication is as much goal-directed, and subsequently as communicative, as is speech. Indeed, gesture and speech share the same cognitive, psychological and physiological roots. Although the study of gesture has reached maturity as a branch of scholarship which endorses a multidisciplinary approach to communication, and is now integral to many of the sciences (psychology, psycholinguistics and ethnology, among others), little attention has been paid in recent years to the phenomena involved — the communicative function of gesture in particular — from a strictly linguistic point of view.

This book exploits a number of methodological instruments from the study of linguistics to restore gesture to its original position of importance within the field. The data presented here are analyzed as pieces of information that describe behavior, but which are also an integral part of the more complex phenomenon of human communication.

Evidence is provided by means of experiments on hearing and deaf subjects, in addition to a review of the major findings about the use and function of gesture in situations of handicap, such as aphasia and blindness. The ideas proposed here are a result of the author's long study and speculation on the role of gesture, both in communicative acts and with respect to language.

For more information: http://www.iospress.nl/book/reinterpreting-gesture-as-language/



Embodied Interaction: Language and Body in the Material World (2011)

Embodied Interaction

Edited by: Jürgen Streeck, Charles Goodwin, and Curtis LeBaron
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

How do people organize their body movement and talk when they interact with one another in the material world? How do they coordinate linguistic structures with bodily resources (such as gaze and gesture) to bring about coherent and intelligible courses of action? How are physical settings, artifacts, technologies and non-linguistic sign-systems implicated in social interaction and shared cognition? This volume brings together advanced work by leading international scholars who share video-based research methods that integrate semiotic, linguistic, sociological, anthropological and cognitive science perspectives with detailed, microanalytic observations. Collectively they provide a coherent framework for analyzing the production of meaning and the organization of social interaction in the complex and heterogeneous settings that are characteristic of modern life. Embodied Interaction is indispensable for anyone interested in the study of language and social interaction. This volume will be a point of reference for future research on multimodality in human communication and action.

For more information: http://www.cambridge.org/se/academic/subjects/psychology/social-psychology/embodied-interaction-language-and-body-material-world?format=HB



Entry on "Gestures" in Oxford Bibliographies: Linguistics (2011)

Adam Kendon
(Editor in Chief: Mark Aronoff)
New York: Oxford University Press

This article, after listing recent general works and surveys, is organized first to reflect the historical development of interest in gesture up to the middle of the 20th century. Thereafter it is organized according to the principal topics that currently occupy gesture researchers. In the West interest in gesture began with its role in rhetorical technique. Philosophical interest emerged in the 18th century, when discussion of the problem of the natural origin of language first began. This continued in the 19th century, when discussion broadened with the rise of ideas on biological evolution and the accumulation of ethnographic information. Although there was a decline of interest during the first half of the 20th century, after World War II, as interest in human communication expanded along with interest in the psychological, cognitive, and biological foundations of language, scholarly attention returned to gesture and has greatly expanded since 1980. Study of the elaboration of gesture into sign languages, as found in communities of deaf persons (or in communities where there is a high proportion of them), has developed as a separate field and is not covered here, although references are included to selected works that throw light on the overlaps between gesture used by speakers and modes of expression in sign languages. However, works on gesture systems and so-called alternate sign languages, used by speaker-hearers when the use of speech is restricted for environmental or ritual reasons, have been included.

For more information: http://www.oxfordbibliographiesonline.com/view/document/obo-9780199772810/obo-9780199772810-0018.xml



Primate Communication and Human Language: Vocalisation, gestures, imitation and deixis in humans and non-humans (2011)

Primate Communication and Human Language

Edited by Anne Vilain, Jean-Luc Schwartz, Christian Abry and Jacques Vauclair
Amsterdam: Benjamins

After a long period where it has been conceived as iconoclastic and almost forbidden, the question of language origins is now at the centre of a rich debate, confronting acute proposals and original theories. Most importantly, the debate is nourished by a large set of experimental data from disciplines surrounding language. The editors of the present book have gathered researchers from various fields, with the common objective of taking as seriously as possible the search for continuities from non-human primate vocal and gestural communication systems to human speech and language, in a multidisciplinary perspective combining ethology, neuroscience, developmental psychology and linguistics, as well as computer science and robotics. New data and theoretical elaborations on the emergence of referential communication and language are debated here by some of the most creative scientists in the world.

For more information: http://www.benjamins.com/#catalog/books/ais.1/main



Meaning, Form, and Body (2010)

Meaning, Form, and Body

Fey Parrill, Vera Tobin, and Mark Turner
Stanford: CSLI

Meaning, Form, and Body brings together renowned figures in the field of cognitive linguistics to discuss two related research areas in the study of linguistics: the integration of form and meaning and language and the human body. Among the numerous topics discussed are grammatical constructions, conceptual integration, and gesture.

Part of the series Conceptual Structure, Discourse and Language.

For more information: http://cslipublications.stanford.edu/site/9781575865959.shtml



Gestures in Language Development (2010)

Gestures in Language Development

Edited by Marianne Gullberg and Kees de Bot
Amsterdam: Benjamins

Gestures are prevalent in communication and tightly linked to language and speech. As such they can shed important light on issues of language development across the lifespan. This volume, originally published as a Special Issue of Gesture Volume 8:2 (2008), brings together studies from different disciplines that examine language development in children and adults from varying perspectives. It provides a review of common theoretical and empirical themes, and the contributions address topics such as gesture use in prelinguistic infants, the relationship between gestures and lexical development in typically and atypically developing children and in second language learners, what gestures reveal about discourse, and how all languages that adult second language speakers know can influence each other. The papers exemplify a vibrant new field of study with relevance for multiple disciplines.

For more information: http://benjamins.com/#catalog/books/bct.28/main



The Anatomy of Meaning (2009)

The Anatomy of Meaning

N. J. Enfield
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

How do we understand what others are trying to say? The answer cannot be found in language alone. Words are linked to hand gestures and other visible phenomena to create unified 'composite utterances'. In this book N. J. Enfield presents original case studies of speech-with-gesture based on fieldwork carried out with speakers of Lao (a language of Southeast Asia). He examines pointing gestures (including lip and finger-pointing) and illustrative gestures (examples include depicting fish traps and tracing kinship relations). His detailed analyses focus on the 'semiotic unification' problem, that is, how to make a single interpretation when multiple signs occur together. Enfield's arguments have implications for all branches of science with a stake in meaning and its place in human social life. The book will appeal to all researchers interested in the study of meaning, including linguists, anthropologists, and psychologists.

For more information: http://www.cup.es/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521880640



Projection and Anticipation in Embodied Communication (2009)

Projection and Anticipation in Embodied Communication

Discourse Processes, Volume 46, 2-3, March-June 2009.
Special Issue edited by Jürgen Streeck & J. Scott Jordan

This special issue of Discourse Processes brings together work that sheds light on ways in which the very fabrics of action, interaction and communication are imbued with forward-looking anticipatory structures that facilitate on-going, fluid interactions in dynamic social environments. The contributions to the issue examine (a) neurological foundations of innate human anticipatory interaction planning (E.Goody); (b) scaffolding and other facilitative, forward-looking aspects of human-made interactional units, utterances, and other practice formats; and (c) how these are coupled, i.e. how biological adaptations and cultural adaptations work together in the production of forward-looking, intelligible embodied human action, of actions with which others can entrain on the fly and moment by moment. The contributors are neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, interactional linguists, and conversation analysts working in a variety of disciplines.

For more information: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=g909578547~db=all



At the Other End of Gesture: Anthropological Poetics of Gesture in Modern Hebrew Literature (2008)

At the Other End of Gesture

Roman Katsman
Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang

This book discusses the enchantment and power of gesture in literature and art, using a wide selection of cultural and scientific materials, from the Bible, Quintillian and Buddhism to David McNeil's cognitive psychology, Eric Gans' philosophical anthropology and Richard Sennett's sociology. The author demonstrates that represented gestures, and even those that are not represented, originate a unique cognitive-physical interaction between the reader or viewer and the composition. The discussion focuses mainly on an analysis of gestural poetics in a number of works of modern Hebrew writers, from the beginning of the twentieth to the beginning of the twenty-first century, from Uri Nissan Gnessin and Jacob Steinberg to Meir Shalev and Etgar Keret. In the course of the discussion gesture is shown to be a micro-myth that unites order and chaos, a mechanism that establishes the power of symbolism and visibility in the modern culture of the "fall of public man". The study demonstrates the variety of ways in which a myth of impossible and inevitable touch-non-touch gestures is created.

For more information: http://www.peterlang.com/Index.cfm?vID=56689&vHR=1&vUR=2&vUUR=1&vLang=E



Gesture: Second Language Acquisition and Classroom Research (2008)

Gesture: Second Language Acquisition and Classroom Research

Steven G. McCafferty and Gale Stam
New York: Routledge

This book demonstrates the vital connection between language and gesture, and why it is critical for research on second language acquisition to take into account the full spectrum of communicative phenomena. The study of gesture in applied linguistics is just beginning to come of age. This edited volume, the first of its kind, covers a broad range of concerns that are central to the field of SLA. The chapters focus on a variety of second-language contexts, including adult classroom and naturalistic learners, and represent learners from a variety of language and cultural backgrounds.

The book is organized in five sections:

Although there is a large body of research on gesture across a number of disciplines including anthropology, communications, psychology, sociology, and child development, to date there has been comparatively little investigation of gesture within applied linguistics. This volume provides readers unfamiliar with L2 gesture studies with a powerful new lens with which to view many aspects of language in use, language learning, and language teaching.



Hands, Mind, Face and Body: A Goal and Belief View of Multimodal Communication (2007)

Hands, Mind, Face and Body

Isabella Poggi
Berlin: Weidler

Communication is multimodal. In everyday interaction we do not communicate only by words, but by our whole body. We talk by gestures, facial expression, gaze, body movements, posture, and these communicative modalities interact with each other in subtle and complex ways. But can we disentangle the different sounds in a symphony, the different pieces in a mosaic? This book claims that the communication scholar can write down the musical score of the communicative symphony by attributing a specific meaning to each single signal — to each gesture, gaze, facial expression — and by finding out lexicons of all communicative modalities. If Linguists have been writing dictionaries of verbal languages for millennia, why not start compiling a new type of dictionaries, and discover the lexicons and the alphabets of gestures, gaze, or touch?

Part I of this book (Mind) presents a cognitive model of communication in terms of the notions of goal and belief;

Parts II (Hands) and III (Face) analyse gestural and facial communication in detail, by distinguishing universal and cultural aspects in gesture and gaze, showing the differences between gestures that are codified in our mind and gestures that we create on the spot, and teaching how to make a dictionary of touch or how to find the meanings conveyed by the eyebrows.

Part IV (Body) presents an annotation scheme to transcribe and analyse signals in all modalities and to capture the meaning of their interaction, that has proved useful for empirical research on multimodality and for its simulation in Embodied Conversational Agents; to illustrate the potentialities of this tool, multimodal discourses are analysed, taken from TV talk shows, political discourse, classroom interaction, speech-therapy sessions, judicial debates, university examinations and comic movies. The subtleties of multimodality are dissected, showing how the whole body can be a tool for indirect and contradictory messages, deception, joke, irony and other sophisticated uses of communication.

For more information: http://www.weidler-verlag.de/Reihen/KZKda/kzk19/kzk19.html



Gesture and Thought (2005)

Gesture and Thought

David McNeill
Chicago: Chicago University Press

Gesturing is such an integral yet unconscious part of communication that we are mostly oblivious to it. But if you observe anyone in conversation, you are likely to see his or her fingers, hands, and arms in some form of spontaneous motion. Why? David McNeill, a pioneer in the ongoing study of the relationship between gesture and language, set about answering this question over twenty-five years ago. In Gesture and Thought he brings together years of this research, arguing that gesturing, an act which has been popularly understood as an accessory to speech, is actually a dialectical component of language. Gesture and Thought expands on McNeill’s acclaimed classic Hand and Mind. While that earlier work demonstrated what gestures reveal about thought, here gestures are shown to be active participants in both speaking and thinking. Expanding on an approach introduced by Lev Vygotsky in the 1930s, McNeill posits that gestures are key ingredients in an “imagery-language dialectic” that fuels both speech and thought. Gestures are both the “imagery” and components of “language.” The smallest element of this dialectic is the “growth point,” a snapshot of an utterance at its beginning psychological stage. Utilizing several innovative experiments he created and administered with subjects spanning several different age, gender, and language groups, McNeill shows how growth points organize themselves into utterances and extend to discourse at the moment of speaking. An ambitious project in the ongoing study of the relationship of human communication and thought, Gesture and Thought is a work of such consequence that it will influence all subsequent theory on the subject.

For more information: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/G/bo3633713.html



How the Body Shapes the Mind (2005)

How the Body Shapes the Mind

Shaun Gallagher
Oxford: Oxford University Press

How the Body Shapes the Mind is an interdisciplinary work that addresses philosophical questions by appealing to evidence found in experimental psychology, neuroscience, studies of pathologies, and developmental psychology. There is a growing consensus across these disciplines that the contribution of embodiment to cognition is inescapable. Because this insight has been developed across a variety of disciplines, however, there is still a need to develop a common vocabulary that is capable of integrating discussions of brain mechanisms in neuroscience, behavioral expressions in psychology, design concerns in artificial intelligence and robotics, and debates about embodied experience in the phenomenology and philosophy of mind. Shaun Gallagher's book aims to contribute to the formulation of that common vocabulary and to develop a conceptual framework that will avoid both the overly reductionistic approaches that explain everything in terms of bottom-up neuronal mechanisms, and inflationistic approaches that explain everything in terms of Cartesian, top-down cognitive states.

Gallagher pursues two basic sets of questions. The first set consists of questions about the phenomenal aspects of the structure of experience, and specifically the relatively regular and constant features that we find in the content of our experience. If throughout conscious experience there is a constant reference to one's own body, even if this is a recessive or marginal awareness, then that reference constitutes a structural feature of the phenomenal field of consciousness, part of a framework that is likely to determine or influence all other aspects of experience. The second set of questions concerns aspects of the structure of experience that are more hidden, those that may be more difficult to get at because they happen before we know it. They do not normally enter into the content of experience in an explicit way, and are often inaccessible to reflective consciousness. To what extent, and in what ways, are consciousness and cognitive processes, which include experiences related to perception, memory, imagination, belief, judgement, and so forth, shaped or structured by the fact that they are embodied in this way?

For more information: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199271948.do



The Dynamic Dance: Nonvocal Communication in the African Great Apes (2004)

The Dynamic Dance

Barbara J. King
Harvard University Press

In this book, Barbara King discusses gesture of chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas, and the relationship of ape gesture to human language. Mother and infant negotiate over food; two high-status males jockey for power; female kin band together to get their way. It happens among humans and it happens among our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom, the great apes of Africa. In this eye-opening book, we see precisely how such events unfold in chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas: through a spontaneous, mutually choreographed dance of actions, gestures, and vocalizations in which social partners create meaning and come to understand each other.

Using dynamic systems theory, an approach employed to study human communication, Barbara King is able to demonstrate the genuine complexity of apes' social communication, and the extent to which their interactions generate meaning. As King describes, apes create meaning primarily through their body movements--and go well beyond conveying messages about food, mating, or predators. Readers come to know the captive apes she has observed, and others across Africa as well, and to understand "the process of creating social meaning."

This new perspective not only acquaints us with our closest living relatives, but informs us about a possible pathway for the evolution of language in our own species. King's theory challenges the popular idea that human language is instinctive, with rules and abilities hardwired into our brains. Rather, The Dynamic Dance suggests, language has its roots in the gestural "building up of meaning" that was present in the ancestor we shared with the great apes, and that we continue to practice to this day.

For more information: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/reviews/KINDYN_R.html



Gesture: Visible Action as Utterance (2004)

Gesture: Visible Action as Utterance

Adam Kendon
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Gesture, or visible bodily action that is seen as intimately involved in the activity of speaking, has long fascinated scholars and laymen alike. Written by a leading authority on the subject, this long-awaited study provides a comprehensive treatment of gesture and its use in interaction, drawing on the analysis of everyday conversations to demonstrate its varied role in the construction of utterances. Adam Kendon accompanies his analyses with an extended discussion of the history of the study of gesture — a topic not dealt with in any previous publication — as well as exploring the relationship between gesture and sign language, and how the use of gesture varies according to cultural and language differences. Set to become the definitive account of the topic, Gesture will be invaluable to all those interested in human communication. Its publication marks a major development, both in semiotics and in the emerging field of gesture studies.

For more information: http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item1151360/?site_locale=en_GB