Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1568-1475
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9773
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Gestures that are used by interlocutors to manage the gist of their ‘discourse interactions’, namely content exchange and floor taking, can have one of two very different pragmatic functions: to signal inclusion and cooperation in friendly conversation, or to establish control in more argumentative conversation. While inclusive-cooperative gestures have been extensively studied (e.g., Bavelas, Chovil, Lavrie, & Wade, 1992 ; Kendon, 1995 ; Müller, 2004 ; Sweetser, 1998 ), control gestures received little attention (although see Kendon, 1995 , 2004 ) until a recent spark of interest in their form and function (e.g., Calbris, 2011 ; Müller, 2017 ; Wehling, 2010 , 2012 , 2013 ). However, even though research has detailed important aspects of such discourse managing gestures, to date no comprehensive account of their conceptual foundations and pragmatic functions exists. The present paper fills this gap in the literature. Building on prior analyses of control gestures in argumentative discourse (e.g., Wehling, 2010 ) and inclusive-cooperative gestures in friendly conversation (e.g., Bavelas et al., 1992 ; Müller, 2004 ), it details a typology of that distinguishes and gestures as separate pragmatic types and accounts for their forms and functions in terms of their conceptual foundations in primary metaphoric, space-motion schematic, and force dynamic reasoning.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): embodiment; force dynamics; gesture; pragmatics; primary metaphor; space-motion schemas
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