Gesture as “deliberate expressive movement”

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This chapter offers an in-depth exploration into one of Adam Kendon‘s core theoretical assumptions: gesture as “deliberate expressive movement.” Gestures are recognized as such because they show certain characteristic features of form, because they have “<i>features of manifest deliberate expressiveness</i>” (Kendon 2004:&#8201;13–14, italics in the original). Kendon bases his definition of gestures on their articulatory movement characteristics and on their interactive perception. Following Kendon’s descriptive approach, and by taking the form characteristics of gestures as a theoretical and methodological point of departure, a form-based and linguistic perspective to a grammar of gesture will be outlined. In doing so and by alluding to the study of signs it will be suggested that the study of gestures reveals how linguistic structures may emerge from body movement.


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