Gesture Placement by Germans in Descriptions of Motion Events
Based on how different languages verbalise motion events they can be divided into two main categories: satellite-framed (e.g., English) and verb-framed languages (e.g., Spanish) (Talmy, 1985; Slobin, 2004). This typology reflects the speakers' way of thinking-for-speaking (Slobin, 1996; 2004). According to, for example, McNeill & Duncan (2000), gestures are also part of thinking-for-speaking. This is reflected by the constituents with which gestures coincide. However, previous research (Van Hoof, 2000; Vrinzen, 2003; Boot 2003) suggests that even two satellite-framed languages can differ in their gesture placement. The English participants tended to place their gestures on the verb (expected of verb-framed languages). The Dutch displayed no consistent pattern across the three studies. This study investigates German. Results suggest that Germans tend to place their gestures on the satellite (expected of satellite-framed languages). Together, these four studies indicate that a categorisation based on speech cannot necessarily be applied to gestures.
Article language: Dutch