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Image schemas, mimetic schemas, and children’s gestures

Zlatev, Jordan LU (2014) In Cognitive Semiotics 7(1). p.3-29
Abstract
Mimetic schemas, unlike the popular cognitive linguistic notion of image schemas, have been characterized in earlier work as explicitly representational, bodily sturctures arising from imitation of culture-specific practical actions (Zlatev 2005, 2007a, 2007b). We performed an analysis of the gestures of three Swedish and three Thai children at the age of 18, 22 and 26 months, in episodes of natural interaction with caregivers and siblings in order to analyze the hypothesis that iconic gestures emerge as mimetic schemas. In accordance with this hypothesis, we predicted that the children’s first iconic gestures would be (a) intermediately specific, (b) culture-typical, (c) falling in a set of recurrent types, (d) predominantly enacted from... (More)
Mimetic schemas, unlike the popular cognitive linguistic notion of image schemas, have been characterized in earlier work as explicitly representational, bodily sturctures arising from imitation of culture-specific practical actions (Zlatev 2005, 2007a, 2007b). We performed an analysis of the gestures of three Swedish and three Thai children at the age of 18, 22 and 26 months, in episodes of natural interaction with caregivers and siblings in order to analyze the hypothesis that iconic gestures emerge as mimetic schemas. In accordance with this hypothesis, we predicted that the children’s first iconic gestures would be (a) intermediately specific, (b) culture-typical, (c) falling in a set of recurrent types, (d) predominantly enacted from a first-person perspective (1pp) rather than performed from a third-person perspective (3pp), with (e) 3pp gestures being more dependent on direct imitation than 1pp gestures and (f) more often cooccuring with speech. All specific predictions but the last were confirmed, and differences were found between the children’s iconic gestures on the one side, and their deictic and emblematic gestures on the other. Thus, the study both confirms earlier conjectures that mimetic schemas “ground” both gesture and speech, and implies the need to qualify these proposals, limiting the link between mimetic schemas and gestures to the iconic category. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
bodily mimesis, communicative intent, convention, deictic, emblematic, iconic, imitation, typification, representation, language
in
Cognitive Semiotics
volume
7
issue
1
pages
3 - 29
publisher
Peter Lang Publishing Group
ISSN
2235-2066
DOI
10.1515/cogsem-2014-0002
project
Centre for Cognitive Semiotics (CCS)
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
62d87997-ce9f-4025-b8c7-32f5e017ed44 (old id 4924548)
date added to LUP
2015-01-13 15:40:14
date last changed
2016-04-15 17:53:16
@article{62d87997-ce9f-4025-b8c7-32f5e017ed44,
  abstract     = {Mimetic schemas, unlike the popular cognitive linguistic notion of image schemas, have been characterized in earlier work as explicitly representational, bodily sturctures arising from imitation of culture-specific practical actions (Zlatev 2005, 2007a, 2007b). We performed an analysis of the gestures of three Swedish and three Thai children at the age of 18, 22 and 26 months, in episodes of natural interaction with caregivers and siblings in order to analyze the hypothesis that iconic gestures emerge as mimetic schemas. In accordance with this hypothesis, we predicted that the children’s first iconic gestures would be (a) intermediately specific, (b) culture-typical, (c) falling in a set of recurrent types, (d) predominantly enacted from a first-person perspective (1pp) rather than performed from a third-person perspective (3pp), with (e) 3pp gestures being more dependent on direct imitation than 1pp gestures and (f) more often cooccuring with speech. All specific predictions but the last were confirmed, and differences were found between the children’s iconic gestures on the one side, and their deictic and emblematic gestures on the other. Thus, the study both confirms earlier conjectures that mimetic schemas “ground” both gesture and speech, and implies the need to qualify these proposals, limiting the link between mimetic schemas and gestures to the iconic category.},
  author       = {Zlatev, Jordan},
  issn         = {2235-2066},
  keyword      = {bodily mimesis,communicative intent,convention,deictic,emblematic,iconic,imitation,typification,representation,language},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {3--29},
  publisher    = {Peter Lang Publishing Group},
  series       = {Cognitive Semiotics},
  title        = {Image schemas, mimetic schemas, and children’s gestures},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/cogsem-2014-0002},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2014},
}