Berlin Gesture Center | Interdisziplinäres BGC-Kolloquium


Vortrag von Alan Cienki:

Gesture and Cognitive Linguistics

Freitag, 7. Juli 2006, 19 Uhr, Boltzmannstr. 3 (Raum 1105), 14195 Berlin (U-Bahnhof Thielplatz)


Cognitive linguistics is a cover term for a group of different approaches to the study of how and why languages are structured as they are.  They share a common goal of conforming with existing research from cognitive psychology about conceptualization.  In this talk I will provide an overview of how research on gesture with speech relates to various approaches in cognitive linguistics.  Specific fields to be considered will include: image schemas (basic patterns in our embodied experience), metaphor and metonymy (as potential expressions of figurative thought), cognitive models, mental spaces (small conceptual "packets" constructed as we think and talk), and blending / conceptual integration.  On the level of grammar, morpological and syntactic structures are viewed in cognitive linguistics as closely tied to the semantic structures which they symbolize.  Since spontaneous gesture can help reveal how speakers are formulating and using lexicalized concepts while speaking, it can provide important evidence to support or question existing analyses in approaches such as cognitive grammar or construction grammar – and it can help guide future analyses.  Finally, the incorporation of gesture data fits with the aim in cognitive linguistics to consider the experiential background of language in use.  To be consistent, this approach must go beyond analysis of written language, and in this category we can include transcripts of speech, which are always at risk of being considered more "words on the page" to be analyzed.
The talk will be given in English.