Do gestures compensate for the omission of motion expression in speech?
The present study investigates whether and to what extent motion-event gestures compensate for the omission of linguistic expression in Chinese discourse and across different languages to understand language-specificity/language-universality and the coordination of motion information across the two modalities. The Chinese conversational and narrative data consistently show that manner fog (i.e., manner absent from speech but present in gesture) was not found. Chinese speakers also demonstrate a preference for compensation — gestures tend to compensate for the lack of path content in speaking. These results differ from those for English and Turkish which do not prefer path gestures in manner-only clauses. The cross-linguistic variation provides evidence for language specificity in gestural compensation. The language-specific coordination of information in speech and gesture suggests Chinese speakers’ habitual focus of attention on PATH in multimodal communication.
Keywords: gestural compensation, gesture, linguistic-imagistic representation, motion event, cross-linguistic representation
Published online: 10 January 2012
Cited by 5 other publications
Bylund, Emanuel & Panos Athanasopoulos
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