The Nonverbal Shift in Early Modern English Conversation

The Nonverbal Shift in Early Modern English Conversation

by Axel Hübler
     
 
This is the first historical investigation on the nonverbal component of conversation. In the courtly society of 16th and 17th century England, it is argued that a drift appeared toward an increased use of prosodic means of expression at the expense of gestural means. Direct evidence is provided by courtesy books and personal documents of the

Overview

This is the first historical investigation on the nonverbal component of conversation. In the courtly society of 16th and 17th century England, it is argued that a drift appeared toward an increased use of prosodic means of expression at the expense of gestural means. Direct evidence is provided by courtesy books and personal documents of the time, indirect evidence by developments in the English lexicon. The rationale of the argument is cognitively grounded; given the integral role of gestures in thinking-for-speaking, it rests on an isomorphism between gestural and prosodic behavior that is established semiotically and elaborated by insights from neurocognitive frequency theory and task dynamics. The proposal is rounded off by an illustration from present-day conversational data and the proof of its adaptability to current theories of language change. The cross-disciplinary approach addresses all those interested in (historical) pragmatics, cognitive linguistics, cultural semantics, semiotics, or language change.

Editorial Reviews

Birte Bös
Hübler's pioneering work on non-verbal elements in EModE conversation is a thought-provoking and demanding read, which presupposes a sound knowledge of cognitive theory. His argument is theoretically well-founded, it appears absolutely reasonable and certainly effectively utilises the data which we, as modern researchers, have at our disposal.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789027253972
Publisher:
Benjamins, John Publishing Company
Publication date:
01/18/2007
Series:
Pragmatics & Beyond New Series
Pages:
295

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