Gesture: Utterances as multimodal acts (LIN2106.01)

Leah Pappas

In this course, we will examine gestures from a linguistic perspective.  We will answer fundamental questions such as ‘What is a language?’, ‘What is a gesture?’ and ‘Can gesture itself be considered language?’ Once we have established such foundational concepts, we will explore gesture as a crucial part of communication, discussing its necessity in language development, processing information, and revealing thoughts that are not expressed through speech. As we explore these macro-concepts, we will also be learning to categorize and analyze gestures. Gestures, like languages, have their own “grammar,” and we will learn how to analyze this structure by collecting and studying primary gestural data. Through this work, we will see how certain grammatical features may be universal while others can be unique to specific language groups.

There are no prerequisites for this course, but be aware that most of the course readings are scholarly articles targeted at other gesture researchers, so be prepared to commit the time and effort to understanding these articles.


Learning Outcomes:
•Understand the variable relationship between gesture and speech as two crucial parts of a single, multimodal utterance
•Be able to analyze the component form and meaning of gesture features and be able to apply these to spontaneous gestures produced in natural conversation
•Be able to read and critique scholarly articles on gesture
•Navigate the world with a more conscious awareness of the role that gestures play in both spontaneous and formal speech events and recognize how this might vary across language groups



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
F 8:30AM - 12:10PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: Fully In-Person , All courses , Cultural Studies and Languages , Updates , Sociolinguistics
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