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Iconicity in Gesture: How Czech Children and Adults Use Iconic Gestures to Deal with a Gap between Mental and Linguistic Representations of Motion Events

Abstract : Our paper contributes to the discussion about iconicity by bringing attention to iconic co-speech gestures. We investigate their role in situations where mental representation becomes difficult to fully express through words only. For instance, when Czech speakers describe Motion, the lexicon most often does not allow them to verbalize Path of Motion without indicating Manner of Motion at the same time. In this context, we asked 72 Czech children and adults to watch and describe Motion video clips where Manner was visually backgrounded in favor of Path. Although adults found a way to verbalize Path without Manner more often than children, Czech participants altogether typically verbalized both Path and Manner but they preferred to gesture about Path only. Gesturing about both Path and Manner was generally marginal and more used by adults than by children. When it occurred, gesturally conveyed Manner tended to be different from spoken Manner and closer to actually viewed Manner. We discuss the ability of creative non-arbitrary iconic gesture to modulate verbal content so that the final polysemiotic message is more satisfactory than the verbal message alone would be.
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https://hal-univ-tlse2.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03481228
Contributor : Katerina Fibigerova Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, September 12, 2022 - 5:25:12 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 4:20:11 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-03481228, version 1

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Katerina Fibigerova, Michèle Guidetti. Iconicity in Gesture: How Czech Children and Adults Use Iconic Gestures to Deal with a Gap between Mental and Linguistic Representations of Motion Events. Sara Lenninger; Olga Fischer; Christina Ljungberg; Elzbieta Tabakowska. Iconicity in Cognition and across Semiotic Systems, John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp.245-264, In press, 9789027211439. ⟨hal-03481228⟩

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