Gesture structuring strategies in English and Spanish autobiographical narratives

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Based on new perspectives on the conceptual segmentation of oral emotional narratives (Romano & Porto 2010; Romano et al. 2013) and the development of cognitive gesture studies (McNeill 1992; Sweetser 2007; Cienki 2008b), this chapter aims at upgrading the descriptive tools used for the conceptual-gesture interaction in structuring oral narratives. Two oral autobiographical stories, in Spanish and British English, are analysed combining both cognitive approaches. The results show two different conceptual-gesture projecting strategies for physically guiding the listener through the narrative. Although extensive comparative analyses are needed to confirm the differences, the combined method proves quite useful for capturing the conceptual-gesture projections as structuring strategies in oral narratives.


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