The Gesture-Language Interface

David F. Armstrong and Sherman E. Wilcox

in The Gestural Origin of Language

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780195163483
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199867523 | DOI:
 The Gesture-Language Interface

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This chapter proposes a reunification of language and gesture, claiming that only by starting with the premise that signed languages are the original and prototypical languages can we achieve a unity of speech and sign as forms of language. Rather than searching for this unity in ever more abstracted ways away from the linguistic material itself, the gestural substance of linguistic communication, it is argued that unity can be achieved by seeing language as grounded in embodied action — visible movement.

Keywords: gestures; sign language; arbitrariness; iconicity; visible movement; unity; linguistic communication

Chapter.  4449 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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