Gesture as a Means of Signifying and Idetifying of Discourse

Cecilija Jurčić
The answer of linguistics to the increased interest in the question of discourse (and text) by including discourse into the existing repertoire of language units (as a unit hierarchically higher than the sentence) has not proven sufficient. To fulfill its role in the transdisciplinary sphere of the science of discourse, linguistics should redefine its approach to language and consider the language study in the complexity of context. One of the disregarded aspects in the meaning forming process certainly is the gesture (McNeill, 1992, 2000). Although completely contrasted in expression (a non-conventionalized, global and synthetic gestural sign opposed to a highly conventionalized, segmented and analytic linguistic one), gestural and linguistical codes are complementary and unified in speech. In this symbiosis it is the gestures that, liberated from the constraints of the linguistic code, carry the pragmatical part of information, contributing thus to the transparency of the discursive structure.
Key words
gesture, gestural sign; linguistic sign; discourse
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