1887
Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1568-1475
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9773
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Abstract

This article describes a previously undocumented deictic facial gesture of Papua New Guinea, which we call nose-pointing. Based on a video corpus of examples produced by speakers of Yupno, an indigenous language of Papua New Guinea’s Finisterre Range, we characterize the gesture’s morphology — which involves an effortful scrunching together of the face, or S-action, in combination with a deictic head movement — and illustrate its use in different interactive contexts. Yupno speakers produce the nose-pointing gesture in alternation with more familiar pointing morphologies, such as index finger and head-pointing, suggesting that the gesture carries a distinctive meaning. Interestingly, the facial morphological component of nose-pointing — the S-action — is also widely used non-deictically by Yupno speakers, and we propose that such uses provide crucial clues to the meaning of nose-pointing. We conclude by highlighting questions for further research, including precisely how nose-pointing relates to non-deictic uses of the S-action and what cultural and communicative pressures might have shaped the gesture.

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/content/journals/10.1075/gest.12.2.01coo
2012-01-01
2018-11-20
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References

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/gest.12.2.01coo
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