Web-Enhanced Article: A Repertoire of South African Quotable Gestures


JLA 14.2 Web-Enhanced Article


A Repertoire of South African Quotable Gestures
Heather Brookes

Among black urban South Africans in Gauteng province, quotable gestures are a prominent part of everyday communication. Using observations and video recordings of spontaneous communicative interactions, elicitation interviews, and a decoding test, this study presents the repertoire of quotable gestures in current use. Quotable gestures fall within three main gestural types: lexical, holophrastic, and concept, with lexical gestures constituting the highest proportion. Within each gestural type, gestures vary in their range of meanings, functions, and independence from speech. This variation suggests that sharp distinctions between gestural types and between quotable and speech-dependent gestures may obscure continuities in meaning, function, and how gestures originate and develop. The article discusses recent work that suggests alternative organizational criteria for the analysis of gestures. It proposes that analysis of gestures begin at the level of interaction, taking into account how social relationships, cultural notions, and identity shape forms of gestural use and behavior

Gesture Dictionary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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