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  • 93 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 412 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.6 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521542937 | ISBN-10: 0521542936)

Gesture, or visible bodily action that is seen as intimately involved in the activity of speaking, has long fascinated scholars and laymen alike. Written by a leading authority on the subject, this 2004 study provides a comprehensive treatment of gesture and its use in interaction, drawing on the analysis of everyday conversations to demonstrate its varied role in the construction of utterances. Adam Kendon accompanies his analyses with an extended discussion of the history of the study of gesture - a topic not dealt with in any previous publication - as well as exploring the relationship between gesture and sign language, and how the use of gesture varies according to cultural and language differences. Set to become the definitive account of the topic, Gesture will be invaluable to all those interested in human communication. Its publication marks a major development, both in semiotics and in the emerging field of gesture studies.

• Probably the most comprehensive treatment of gesture to be found anywhere • Presents a series of detailed studies of how gesture is used in conversation which have never been published before • Chapters on the history of the study of gesture, gesture and sign language, and gesture as part of the communication economy of a culture give it a depth not found in any other book on the topic


1. The domain of gesture; 2. Visible action as gesture; 3. Western interest in gesture from classical antiquity to the eighteenth century; 4. Four contributions from the nineteenth century: Andrea de Jorio, Edward Tylor, Garrick Mallery and Wilhelm Wundt; 5. Gesture studies in the twentieth century: recession and return; 6. Classifying gestures; 7. Gesture units, gesture phrases and speech; 8. Deployments of gesture in the utterance; 9. Gesture and speech in semantic interaction; 10. Gesture and referential meaning; 11. On pointing; 12. Gestures of the 'precision-grip': topic, comment and question markers; 13. Two gesture families of the open hand; 14. Gesture without speech: the emergence of kinesic codes; 15. Gesture and sign on common ground; 16. Gesture, culture and the communication economy; 17. The status of gesture; Appendix I. Transcription conventions; Appendix II. The recordings.

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