Publication details [#3509]

Publication type
Article in book  
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: John Benjamins


The German physiologist and psychologist Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) was perhaps the first to note that gestures could be used metaphorically. In his 'Völkerpsychologie '(1922), Wundt discusses the "symbolic gesture," which transfers the concepts being expressed from the perspective of one domain to that of another. He cites the examples of time as space, and the transfer of the abstract to the perceptual. However, the interrelation of the topics of metaphor and gesture really only began to receive close attention at the end of the 20th century, after the boom in metaphor studies beginning in the 1980s, and the expansion of gesture studies starting in the 1990s. (See Cienki, this volume, for details.) The present volume is an overview of the current state of research on metaphor and gesture. Though it is a selective snapshot, we feel it is a representative one, at least of contemporary U.S. American, French, and German work at the intersection of these fields of study. (Alan Cienki and Cornelia Müller)