Composite ideophone-gesture utterances in the Ashéninka Perené ‘community of practice’, an Amazonian Arawak society from Central-Eastern Peru
Based on extensive fieldwork in Peru among Ashéninka Perené Arawaks, this study is a preliminary report on ideophone-gesture composites, with special focus on the meaning and functions of ideophone-gesture couplings within participatory learning frameworks. In expert-novice learning environments, ideophone-gesture composites appear to carry a unique cognitive-communicative load by forming scaffolding knowledge structures on the basis of the conventionalized ideophone-gesture inventories. The data are illustrative of Streeck’s (2009) vision of the hands’ involvement in meaning-making, i.e., that some of the ways in which depictive gestures evoke the world ascend from a basic set of everyday activities of hands in the world, within particular ecological and cultural settings.
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