Center Papers

Signers And Co-speech Gesturers Adopt Similar Strategies For Portraying Viewpoint In Narratives

Quinto-Pozos, D. & Parrill, F. (2014). Signers and co-speech gesturers adopt similar strategies for portraying viewpoint in narratives. Topics in Cognitive Science.

Gestural viewpoint research suggests that several dimensions determine which perspective a narrator takes, including properties of the event described. Events can evoke gestures from the point of view of a character (CVPT), an observer (OVPT), or both perspectives. CVPT and OVPT gestures have been compared to constructed action (CA) and classifiers (CL) in signed languages. We ask how CA and CL, as represented in ASL productions, compare to previous results for CVPT and OVPT from English-speaking co-speech gesturers. Ten ASL signers described cartoon stimuli from Parrill (2010). Events shown by Parrill to elicit a particular gestural strategy (CVPT, OVPT, both) were coded for signers' instances of CA and CL. CA was divided into three categories: CA-torso, CA-affect, and CA-handling. Signers used CA-handling the most when gesturers used CVPT exclusively. Additionally, signers used CL the most when gesturers used OVPT exclusively and CL the least when gesturers used CVPT exclusively.