Berlin Gesture Center | Interdisziplinäres BGC-Kolloquium
Vortrag von Heather Brookes:
Communicative and Social Functions of Gestural Use in Naturally Occurring Conversations among Black Urban South Africans
Freitag, 28. April 2006, 19 Uhr
In Kooperation mit der Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder.
Ort des Vortrags: Raum AM 104, Audimax-Gebäude, Logenstr. 2, 15230 Frankfurt/Oder
Using video-recordings of naturally occurring conversations, this presentation
examines communicative and social functions of gestural use among black urban
South Africans. Data demonstrate that gestures used in conjunction with speech
fulfil substantive, interactive, and structural-discoursal functions simultaneously.
In particular, gestures play a key role in structuring discourse into meaningful
units in terms of information focus and background, and textual meaning determines
where gestural phrases and strokes occur. Participant, communicative purpose
and social situation also shape the nature of gestural behaviour in terms of
occurrence, frequency, style and gestural type. Gestures play a role in textualizing
interactions to the large social context indexing social relations as well as
local and broader social identities. These findings have implications for explaining
gestural behaviour only in terms of narrow communicative and cognitive purposes.
Implications for theories on the relationship of gestures to speech and the
origin and conventionalization of gestures are also discussed. Data on the emergence
of a new conventionalized gesture among South Africans suggest several possible
origins and paths by which gestures develop into shared symbolic forms. Some
thoughts on what complex multilingual contexts offer to the study of gesture
will also be presented.
The presentation will be held in English.