Gesture and Thought

Author(s) : David McNeill

Gesture and Thought

Book Details

  • Publisher : University of Chicago Press
  • Published : 2005
  • Category :
    Clinical Psychology
  • Catalogue No : 23118
  • ISBN 13 : 9780226514628
  • ISBN 10 : 0226514625
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Gesturing is such an integral yet unconscious part of communication that we are mostly oblivious to it. But if you observe anyone in conversation, you are likely to see his or her fingers, hands, and arms in some form of spontaneous motion. Why? David McNeill, a pioneer in the ongoing study of the relationship between gesture and language, set about answering this question in "Gesture and Thought". He argues that gestures are active participants in both speaking and thinking. He posits that gestures are key ingredients in an "imagery-language dialectic" that fuels speech and thought; gestures are the "imagery" and also the components of "language," rather than mere consequences. The smallest unit of this dialectic is the "growth point," a snapshot of an utterance at its beginning psychological stage.

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