Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1568-1475
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9773
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Using a repetition paradigm, in which speakers describe the same event to a sequence of listeners, we analyze the degree of reduction in representational gestures. We find that when listener feedback, both verbal and non-verbal, is minimal and unvarying, speakers steadily reduce their motoric commitment in repeated gestures across tellings without regard to the novelty of the information to the listener. Within this specific condition, we interpret the result to coincide with the view that gestures primarily serve as a part of speech production rather than a communicative act. Importantly, we propose that gestural sensitivity to the listener derives from an interaction between interlocutors, rather than simple modeling of the listener’s state of knowledge in the mind of the speaker alone.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): automatization; co-speech gesture; interaction; reduction; repetition
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