Gesture and Thought / Edition 1

Gesture and Thought / Edition 1

by David McNeill
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0226514633

ISBN-13: 9780226514635

Pub. Date: 09/15/2007

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Gesturing is such an integral yet unconscious part of communication that we are mostly oblivious to it. But if you observe anyone in conversation, you are likely to see his or her fingers, hands, and arms in some form of spontaneous motion. Why? David McNeill, a pioneer in the ongoing study of the relationship between gesture and language, set about answering this

Overview


Gesturing is such an integral yet unconscious part of communication that we are mostly oblivious to it. But if you observe anyone in conversation, you are likely to see his or her fingers, hands, and arms in some form of spontaneous motion. Why? David McNeill, a pioneer in the ongoing study of the relationship between gesture and language, set about answering this question over twenty-five years ago. In Gesture and Thought he brings together years of this research, arguing that gesturing, an act which has been popularly understood as an accessory to speech, is actually a dialectical and integral component of language.
Gesture and Thought expands on McNeill’s acclaimed classic Hand and Mind. While that earlier work demonstrated what gestures reveal about thought, here gestures are shown to be active participants in both speaking and thinking. Expanding on an approach introduced by Lev Vygotsky in the 1930s, McNeill posits that gestures are key ingredients in an “imagery-language dialectic” that fuels both speech and thought. Gestures are both the “imagery” and components of “language.” The smallest element of this dialectic is the “growth point,” an “idea unit” of an utterance at its beginning psychological stage. Utilizing several innovative experiments he created and administered with subjects spanning several different age, gender, language, and neurological groups, McNeill shows how growth points organize themselves into utterances and extend to discourse at the moment of speaking.
An ambitious project in the ongoing study of the relationship of human communication and thought, Gesture and Thought is a work of such consequence that it will influence all subsequent theory on the subject.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226514635
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
09/15/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
330
Sales rank:
1,381,106
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgments....................ix
PART 1. PRELIMINARIES 1 Why Gestures?....................3
2 How Gestures Carry Meaning....................22
PART 2. DIALECTIC 3 Two Dimensions....................63
4 Imagery-Language Dialectic....................87
4.1 Dialectic and Material Carriers....................89
4.2 The Growth Point....................105
4.3 Extensions of GP....................128
4.4 Social-Interactive Context....................151
5 Discourse....................164
6 Children and Whorf....................180
PART 3. BRAIN AND ORIGINS 7 Neurogesture....................211
8 The Thought-Language-Hand Link and Language Origins....................233
Appendix. Methods of Gesture Recording and Transcription, Including New Semi-Automated Methods, Plus 'The Growth Point'-a Poem....................259
References....................289
Index....................309

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