The bimodal nature of discourse - comparisons of speech and gesture across languages and genres – Københavns Universitet

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The bimodal nature of discourse - comparisons of speech and gesture across languages and genres

Forelæsning ved Marianne Gullberg, professor i almen sprogvidenskab og direktør for Humanistlaboratoriet ved Lunds Universitet.

Abstract

In this talk I will briefly outline how speech and gestures are coordinated to achieve discourse cohesion in native speakers of different languages and in adult second language speakers. Discourse coherence and cohesion involves linking information about entities and events across stretches of sustained talk. In speech this involves alternations between nominal forms (e.g. the woman–she), the choice of which depend on referent properties (e.g. gender), grammatical role (e.g. subject/object), and information status (e.g. new/given; distance to previous mention, etc.), but also on grammatical structures in which referential expressions are embedded (e.g. existential vs. transitive clauses).

I will illustrate some ways in which gestures also reflect discourse organisation, information structure and the tracking of entities and events. I will exemplify some gestural devices employed (gestural viewpoint, handedness, handshape) across different languages and discourse genres, and also show variations in how native speakers and language learners deploy these devices.

Finally, I discuss some theoretical consequences of considering discourse in a bimodal perspective.role (e.g. subject/object), and information status (e.g. new/given; distance to previous mention, etc.), but also on grammatical structures in which referential expressions are embedded (e.g. existential vs. transitive clauses). I will illustrate some ways in which gestures also reflect discourse organisation, information structure and the tracking of entities and events. I will exemplify some gestural devices employed (gestural viewpoint, handedness, handshape) across different languages and discourse genres, and also show variations in how native speakers and language learners deploy these devices. I finally discuss some theoretical consequences of considering discourse in a bimodal perspective.

Om

Marianne Gullberg er professor i almen sprogvidenskab og direktør for Humanistlaboratoriet ved Lunds Universitet. Hun har tidligere været tilknyttet Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Holland, 2000-2009, hvor hun var med til at lede gruppen Dynamics of Multilingual Processing. Hun er også blandt grundlæggerne af Nijmegen Gesture Center. Hendes forskningsområde er andetsprogsindlæring og flersprogethed, herunder produktion og opfattelse af gestus i sprogindlæring, som hun har undersøgt ved hjælp af både sprog- og gestusanalyse samt neurokognitive metoder.