Edited by John B. Haviland
[Gesture 13:3] 2013
► pp. 377–408
Using space to talk and gesture about numbers
Evidence from the TV News Archive
This paper examines naturally occurring gestures produced in descriptions of numbers and quantities in television newscasts. The results of our analysis show that gestures reveal the metaphorical and spatial nature of numerical thinking. That is, speakers’ hands mimic known spatial mappings between space and quantity, including horizontal mappings (smaller quantities left, larger quantities right), vertical mappings (smaller quantities down, larger quantities up) and size-based mappings (smaller quantities “small”, larger quantities “large”). Speakers frequently switch between these different spatial mappings, and they sometimes combine them within the same gesture. This points to the flexibility of how metaphors can become expressed in gesture, and how domains such as number and quantity can be conceptualized through multiple compatible source domains.
Cited by 22 other publications
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