Most previous work examining co-speech gestures (the spontaneous bodily movements and configurations we engage in during speaking) has emphasized the importance of their most salient or energetically expressive moments, known as gesture ‘strokes’ (Kendon 1980). In contrast, in this dissertation I explore the potential functions of intervals of gestural stasis, or gesture ‘holds’, in which the hands or body maintain particular configurations across variable spans of time, interwoven with the stream of speech. Through the embodiment of a constant form within continuously evolving face-to-face interactions, holds make possible a unique and understudied array of functions relating to the maintenance of ideas and contexts across time.
Chapter 1 introduces the corpus of videotaped dyadic conversations from which all of the examples are drawn, discusses the history of the concepts of ‘stroke’ and ‘hold’, and illustrates the structural possibilities for the timing of holds with respect to co-expressive speech: they bear content that is not just simultaneous with, but also ‘retrospective’ and/or ‘prospective’ of, portions of the full composite utterances in which they occur.
Chapter 2 illustrates that holds lasting across pauses and disfluencies support continued expressiveness and interpretability, alternately presaging new content that will also be part of a fluent resumption, or maintaining retrospective links to prior content that can contextualize the resumption.
Chapter 3 discusses the frequent expressive complementarity of co-timed speech and gesture, as it relates to the debate on speech-gesture synchrony, and further demonstrates that preliminary commitments to utterances are often partially fulfilled from the earliest moments because of gestural cues that are interpretable at all points of their lifecycles, including preparatory phases.
Chapter 4 discusses the implications for attention and memory of gesture holds acting as temporary cognitive artifacts, forming ‘bridges’ across interruptions and competing representations by interlocutors, thereby functioning retrospectively as ‘recall cues’ to previous moments of the interaction.
Chapter 5 focuses on instances of gesture holds combined with listener-directed gaze that are maintained across turn transitions, then released, allowing speakers to ‘hand off’ control while enforcing a context for the next turn.
Chapter 6 synthesizes the preceding chapters and suggests directions for future research.
|Advisor:||Sweetser, Eve E., Hanks, William F.|
|Commitee:||Hanks, William F., Hudson Kam, Carla L., Johnson, Keith, Sweetser, Eve E.|
|School:||University of California, Berkeley|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Linguistics, Communication, Cognitive psychology, Sociolinguistics|
|Keywords:||Embodiment, Gesture, Hold, Interaction, Language, Multimodality, Speech|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be