Monday, Dec. 8, 14:00-15:30,
in the VU MediaXperience, Video Reflection Room
VU main building, room 1A-01

The session will be devoted to two pre-conference practice talks in preparation for the Belgium-Netherlands Cognitive Linguistics Association conference (BeNeCLA)

Yao Tong & Alan Cienki: Motor concepts, metaphor and gesture: A comparison between referential gestures referring to concrete and metaphorical motion. This research examines those spontaneous gestures in TV shows that refer metaphorically to abstract processes as motions and compares them in terms of frequency, form and function to those referring to physical motion. It aims to shed some light on whether there are similar kinds of motor imagery with which we conceptualize abstract and concrete motion.

Kasper Kok: A non-categorical approach to the grammatical functions of gesture. Recent work has suggested that gestures can overlap and intersect with the grammar of speech in terms of their semantics. In this contribution, I assess how gestures are capable of evoking the semantic domains that underlie nouns, verbs and adjectives, taking Langacker’s (1987) notion of ‘conceptual archetypes’ as a starting point. The data come from a comprehensive web-based gesture perception study, in which approximately 450 gestures were judged by naïve participants in terms of whether they represented a thing (e.g., a concrete or abstract entity); a processual relationship (e.g. the movement of some object) or a non-processual relationship (e.g. the shape, size or quantity of some object).

The meeting will be conducted in collaboration with the Multimodal Communication and Cognition Lab at Moscow State Linguistic University via Skype.