Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1568-1475
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9773
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This paper gives a description of Yoruba pointing behavior, especially pointing as it relates to people in interaction contexts. First, it is shown that pointing is regulated by socio-cultural factors. Secondly, it is shown that non-manual points such as lip points are complex points which use the gaze as the primary pointer; other head-area gestures ‘switch on’ the deictic function of the gaze to pinpoint the specific referent in the discourse space. This paper also describes a form of pointing, termed ‘eye-click’, in which the eyes have both the function of gazing and ‘switching on’ the deictic vector of gaze. Thirdly, some pointing practices in sub-Saharan Africa are examined and compared.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): gaze; pointing; social-cultural factors
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