Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1568-1475
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9773
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Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in lowland Peru, this study examines interactional functions of Northern Kampa (Arawak) lip funneling gestures. The study has shown that lip funnels have two functions, spatial deictic and upgrading. Spatial deictic lip funnels orient the addressee to a referential target in acts of direct and deferred ostension and abstract pointing; they are accompanied with aligned gaze and coupled with a variety of lexical items (although they need not be). Spatial deictic lip funnels are intense, sometimes held for the duration of the entire utterance. The second function of lip funnels is to amplify the speaker’s claim to epistemic authority in upgraded responses. In the upgrading function, lip funnels are paired with a limited range of grammatical constructions (negative-interrogative, polar focus and exhaustive focus); the gesturer’s gaze is directed at the recipient, or eyes are shut. Nasalization of vowels is in complementary distribution with eye shutting. ‘Upgrading’ lip funnels are transitory facial actions, normally lasting a split second.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): epistemic stance coding; lip funneling; upgrading strategy
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