Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1568-1475
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9773
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Among urban black South Africans in the province of Gauteng, quotable gestures are a prominent feature of everyday communication. Most notable is a gesture commonly glossed as clever meaning ‘streetwise’ and ‘city slick.’ An analysis of the clever gesture in everyday communicative situations shows that it conveys a variety of meanings and functions related to the core paradigmatic meaning of ‘seeing’ and the core sociointeractional function of acceptance and inclusion. ‘Seeing’ is an important cultural value in black urban society particularly in relation to being clever. ‘Seeing’ is also the central characteristic of modern urban African identity in contrast to the ‘non-seeing’ rural, tribal, and primitive African. The clever gesture is a focused expression of this key social division within South African society. Consideration of the clever gesture in relation to its social role and the gestural repertoire suggests that key cultural concerns determine both quotable status and semantico-grammatical nature.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error