Volume 24, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This study examines the form and function of gestural depictions that develop over extended stretches of concept explanation by a philosopher. Building on Streeck’s (2009) explorations of depiction by gesture, we examine how this speaker’s process of exposition involves sequences of multimodal, analogical depiction by which the philosophical concepts are not only expressed through gesture forms, but also dynamically analyzed and construed through gestural activity. Drawing on perspectives of gesture as active meaning making (Müller 20142016Streeck 2009), we argue that the build-up of gestures in depiction sequences, activated through a multimodal metaphor (Müller & Cienki 2009), engages the wider philosophical standpoint of the speaker. Using video analysis supported by interview data, we demonstrate how examination of gestures within and across discourse can lead to understanding of how dynamic, embodied, and subjective processes of conceptualization contribute to philosophical theorizing.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bressem, Jana & Silvia H. Ladewig
    2011 Rethinking gesture phases: Articulatory features of gestural movement?Semiotica184. 53–91.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bressem, Jana, Silva H. Ladewig & Cornelia Müller
    2013 Linguistic annotation system for gestures (LASG). InCornelia Müller, Alan Cienki, Ellen Fricke, Silva Ladewig, David McNeill & Sedinha Tessendorf (eds.), Body – language – communication: An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction, vol.1, 1098–1125. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter Mouton. doi:  10.1515/9783110261318
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110261318 [Google Scholar]
  3. Calbris, Geneviève
    1990The semiotics of French gestures. Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. 2011Elements of meaning in gesture. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/gs.5
    https://doi.org/10.1075/gs.5 [Google Scholar]
  5. Cameron, Lynne
    2003Metaphor in educational discourse. London/ New York: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Cassell, Justine & David McNeill
    1991 Gesture and the poetics of prose. Poetics Today12(3). 375–404. doi:  10.2307/1772644
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1772644 [Google Scholar]
  7. Cienki, Alan & Cornelia Müller
    2008 Metaphor, gesture, and thought. InRaymond W. Gibbs, Jr. (ed.). The Cambridge handbook of metaphor and thought, 483–501. New York: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511816802.029
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511816802.029 [Google Scholar]
  8. Clark, Herbert H.
    2016 Depicting as a method of communication. Psychological Review123(3). 324–347. doi:  10.1037/rev0000026
    https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000026 [Google Scholar]
  9. Cooperrider, Kensy & Susan Goldin-Meadow
    2017 When gesture becomes analogy. Topics in Cognitive Science9(3). 719–737. 10.1111/tops.12276
    https://doi.org/10.1111/tops.12276 [Google Scholar]
  10. Dingemanse, Mark
    2012 Advances in the cross-linguistic study of ideophones. Linguistics and Language Compass6(10). 654–672. doi:  10.1002/lnc3.361
    https://doi.org/10.1002/lnc3.361 [Google Scholar]
  11. 2013 Ideophones and gesture in everyday speech. Gesture13(2). 143–165. doi:  10.1075/gest.13.2.02din
    https://doi.org/10.1075/gest.13.2.02din [Google Scholar]
  12. Enfield, Nick J.
    2009The anatomy of meaning: Speech, gesture, and composite utterances. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511576737
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511576737 [Google Scholar]
  13. Harrison, Simon
    2018The impulse to gesture: Where language, minds, and bodies intersect. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781108265065
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108265065 [Google Scholar]
  14. Hassemer, Julius & Bodo Winter
    2016 Producing and perceiving gestures conveying height or shape. Gesture15(3). 404–424. 10.1075/gest.15.3.07has
    https://doi.org/10.1075/gest.15.3.07has [Google Scholar]
  15. Hutchins, Edwin & Leysia Palen
    1997 Constructing meaning from space, gesture, and speech. InLauren B. Resnick, Roger Säljö, Clotilde Pontecorvo & Barbara Burge (eds.), Discourse, tools and reasoning, 23–40. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑662‑03362‑3_2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-03362-3_2 [Google Scholar]
  16. Jensen, Thomas Wiben & Elena Cuffari
    2014 Doubleness in experience: Toward a distributed enactive approach to metaphoricity. Metaphor and Symbol29(4). 278–297. doi:  10.1080/10926488.2014.948798
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10926488.2014.948798 [Google Scholar]
  17. Kendon, Adam
    2004Gesture: Visible action as utterance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511807572
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511807572 [Google Scholar]
  18. Kita, Sotaro
    2000 How representational gestures help speaking. InDavid McNeill (ed.), Language and gesture, 162–185. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511620850.011
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620850.011 [Google Scholar]
  19. Kita, Sotaro, Martha W. Alibali & Mingyuan Chu
    2017 How do gestures influence thinking and speaking? The Gesture-for-Conceptualization Hypothesis. Psychological Review124(3). 245–266. doi:  10.1037/rev0000059
    https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000059 [Google Scholar]
  20. Kok, Kasper I. & Alan Cienki
    2016 Cognitive Grammar and gesture: Points of convergence, advances and challenges. Cognitive Linguistics27(1). 67–100. 10.1515/cog‑2015‑0087
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2015-0087 [Google Scholar]
  21. Langacker, Ronald W.
    1987Foundations of cognitive grammar: Theoretical prerequisites, vol.1. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. 2001 Dynamicity in grammar. Axiomathes12. 7–33. 10.1023/A:1012701031022
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1012701031022 [Google Scholar]
  23. 2008Cognitive grammar: A basic introduction. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331967.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331967.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  24. Lascarides, Alex & Matthew Stone
    2009 A formal semantic analysis of gesture. Journal of Semantics26(4). 393–449. doi:  10.1093/jos/ffp004
    https://doi.org/10.1093/jos/ffp004 [Google Scholar]
  25. Lausberg, Hedda & Han Sloetjes
    2009 Coding gestural behavior with the NEUROGES-ELAN system. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers41(3). 841–849. doi:  10.3758/BRM.41.3.591
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BRM.41.3.591 [Google Scholar]
  26. McNeill, David
    1992Hand and mind: What gestures reveal about thought. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. 2005Gesture and thought. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press. 10.7208/chicago/9780226514642.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226514642.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  28. McNeill, David & Susan D. Duncan
    2000 Growth points in thinking-for-speaking. InDavid McNeill (ed.), Language and gesture, 141–161. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511620850.010
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620850.010 [Google Scholar]
  29. Mittelberg, Irene
    2006 Metaphor and metonymy in language and gesture: Discourse evidence for multimodal models of grammar. Doctoral Dissertation, Cornell University.
  30. Mittelberg, Irene & Vito Evola
    2014 Iconic and representational gestures. InCornelia Müller, Alan Cienki & Ellen Fricke (eds.), Body – language – communication: An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction, vol.2, 1731–1746. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter Mouton.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Mittelberg, Irene & Linda R. Waugh
    2014 Gestures and metonymy. InCornelia Müller, Alan Cienki & Ellen Fricke (eds.) Body – language – communication. An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction, vol.2, 1747–1766. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter Mouton.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Montredon, Jacques, Abderrahim Amrani, Marie-Paule Benoit-Barnet, Emmanuelle Chan You, Régine Llorca & Nancy Peuteuil
    2008 Catchment, growth point, and spatial metaphor: Analyzing Derrida’s oral discourse on deconstruction. InAlan Cienki & Cornelia Müller (eds.), Metaphor and gesture, 171–194. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/gs.3.10mon
    https://doi.org/10.1075/gs.3.10mon [Google Scholar]
  33. Müller, Cornelia
    1998Redebegleitende Gesten: Kulturgeschichte – Theorie – Sprachvergleich. Berlin: Berlin Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. 2008Metaphors dead and alive, sleeping and waking: A dynamic view. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press. 10.7208/chicago/9780226548265.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226548265.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  35. 2014 Gestural modes of representation as techniques of depiction. InCornelia Müller, Alan Cienki & Ellen Fricke (eds.), Body – language – communication: An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction, vol.2, 1687–1702. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter Mouton.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. 2016 From mimesis to meaning: A systematics of gestural mimesis for concrete and abstract referential gestures. InJordan Zlatev, Göran Sonesson & Piotr Konderak (eds.), Meaning, mind, and communication: Explorations in cognitive semiotics, 212–226. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Müller, Cornelia & Alan Cienki
    2009 Words, gestures, and beyond: Forms of multimodal metaphor in the use of spoken language. InCharles J. Forceville & Eduardo Urios-Aparisi (eds.), Multimodal metaphor, 299–328. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter Mouton. doi:  10.1515/9783110215366
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110215366 [Google Scholar]
  38. Müller, Cornelia & Silva H. Ladewig
    2013 Metaphors for sensorimotor experiences: Gestures as embodied and dynamic conceptualizations of balance in dance lessons. InMike Borkent, Barbara Dancyger & Jennifer Hinnell (eds.), Language and the creative mind, 295–324. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Núñez, Rafael E.
    2006 Do real numbers really move? Language, thought, and gesture: The embodied cognitive foundations of mathematics. InReuben Hersh (ed.), Unconventional essays on the nature of mathematics, 160–181. New York: Springer. 10.1007/0‑387‑29831‑2_9
    https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-29831-2_9 [Google Scholar]
  40. Núñez, Rafael
    2008 A fresh look at the foundations of mathematics. InAlan J. Cienki & Cornelia Müller. Metaphor and gesture, 93–114. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/gs.3.07nun
    https://doi.org/10.1075/gs.3.07nun [Google Scholar]
  41. Parrill, Fey & Eve Sweetser
    2005 What we mean by meaning: Conceptual integration in gesture analysis and transcription. Gesture4(2). 197–219. doi:  10.1075/gest.4.2.05par
    https://doi.org/10.1075/gest.4.2.05par [Google Scholar]
  42. Rieser, Hannes
    2009 On factoring out a gesture typology from the Bielefeld Speech-and-Gesture-Alignment Corpus (SAGA). InStefan Kopp & Ipke Wachsmuth (eds.), Gesture in embodied communication and human-computer interaction. 8th International Gesture Workshop, GW 2009, 47–60. Berlin/Heidelberg/New York: Springer.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Ruiter, Jan Peter De
    2000 The production of gesture and speech. InDavid McNeill (ed.), Language and gesture, 284–311. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511620850.018
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620850.018 [Google Scholar]
  44. Selting, Margret, Peter Auer, Dagmar Barth-Weingarten, Jörg Bergmann, Pia Bergmann, Karin Birkner, Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen, Christian Meyer, Frank Oberzaucher, Susanne Uhmann
    2011 A system for transcribing talk-in-interaction: Gat 2. Gesprächsforschung12. 1–51. www.gespraechsforschung-online.de/fileadmin/dateien/heft2011/px-gat2-englisch.pdf (25August 2016)
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Sonesson, Göran
    2016 The phenomenological semiotics of iconicity and pictoriality – Including some replies to my critics. Language and Semiotic Studies2. 1–73.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Streeck, Jürgen
    2008 Depicting by gesture. Gesture8(3). 285–301. 10.1075/gest.8.3.02str
    https://doi.org/10.1075/gest.8.3.02str [Google Scholar]
  47. 2009Gesturecraft: The manu-facture of meaning. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/gs.2
    https://doi.org/10.1075/gs.2 [Google Scholar]
  48. Tversky, Barbara & Angela Kessell
    2014 Thinking in action. Pragmatics & Cognition22(2). 206–223. doi:  10.1075/pc.22.2.03tve
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pc.22.2.03tve [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): conceptualization; construal; depiction; gesture; philosophy
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