Elements of Meaning in Gesture
Summarizing her pioneering work on the semiotic analysis of gestures in conversational settings, Geneviève Calbris offers a comprehensive account of her unique perspective on the relationship between gesture, speech, and thought. She highlights the various functions of gesture and especially shows how various gestural signs can be created in the same gesture by analogical links between physical and semantic elements. Originating in our world experience via mimetic and metonymic processes, these analogical links are activated by contexts of use and thus lead to a diverse range of semantic constructions rather as, from the components of a Meccano kit, many different objects can be assembled. By (re)presenting perceptual schemata that mediate between the concrete and the abstract, gesture may frequently anticipate verbal formulation. Arguing for gesture as a symbolic system in its own right that interfaces with thought and speech production, Calbris’ book brings a challenging new perspective to gesture studies and will be seminal for generations of gesture researchers.