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Göteborgs universitets publikationer

The Writing Hand – A Japanese Gesture Family

Författare och institution:
Paul Cibulka (Institutionen för språk och litteraturer & Institutionen för filosofi, lingvistik och vetenskapsteori)
Publicerad i:
5th Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies (ISGS), University of Lund.,
Konferensbidrag, poster
Sammanfattning (abstract):
Gesture families which are limited to a particular geographical area, such as the grappolo in Southern Italy, have to some extent been studied by Kendon (2004). Contributing to this, the present study deals with a gesture family used among speakers of Japanese. It consists of a hand movement which mimics writing out individual strokes of Japanese characters, either in midair, on an object such as a table or on the palm of the passive hand. I call this gesture family W(riting)-family. Given its peculiarity in its usage and its geographical limitation it is surprising that no study with an interactional approach has been undertaken so far (see however Sasaki (1984) and Matsuo et al. (2003) for a cognitive approach) At first glance the W-family appears to be solely iconic, such as mimicking the act of someone writing (Kendon, 2004, p. 189).

However, close examination of natural Japanese conversation reveals that it is highly conventionalised as a pragmatic gesture. It not only (1) topicalises tokens as being related to writing and thus contextualising them, but it also (2) conveys the participants’ interactional endeavour towards achieving intersubjectivity in how a specific expression or name is to be written. Furthermore, though its primary semantic theme being “writing”, the spectrum of the W-family goes beyond that. It is also employed in order to (3) indicate that a token is to be read as technical terminology which not widely understood and thus unknown to the other participant(s). These interactional functions are yet to be investigated. As for other gesture families, gesture variants of the W-family are not created anew every time, but constitute shared knowledge of the speakers and used consistently. This study aims to shed light on their usage through a systematic analysis which combines context analytical as well as conversation analytical methodology.

References Kendon, A. (2004). Gesture: visible action as utterance (p. 400). Cambridge University Press.
Matsuo, K., Kato, C., Okada, T., Moriya, T., & Glover, G. H. (2003). Finger movements lighten neural loads in the recognition of ideographic characters. Cognitive Brain Research, 17, 263-272.
Sasaki, M. (1984). Kuusho-koodoo no hattatsu: Sono shutsugen -nenrei to kinoo no bunka [A developmental study of spontaneous writing-like behaviour (“Kuusho”) in Japanese child]. The Japanese journal of educational psychology, 32(1), 34-43. The Japanese Association of Educational Psychology.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Sociologi ->
Socialantropologi ->
Språk och litteratur ->
Jämförande språkvetenskap och lingvistik ->
Språk och litteratur ->
Annan humaniora ->
gesture, Japanese, conversation, interaction, kusho, kuusho, karagaki
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2012-08-01 10:33

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