togog: Subproject P6

Linear and simultaneous forms of gestural combination in human and non-human primates


Overall aims:
1. To investigate linear and simultaneous structural relations within gestural combinations;
2. To investigate combinations of recurrent gestures in humans as well as combinations on the basis of recurrent forms found in non-human gestures.



togog: Subproject P6a

Linear and simultaneous forms of gestural combination in humans

Researchers: Cornelia Müller, Ellen Fricke, Susanne Tag, and Julius Hassemer



Aims: To research into structural relations between gestures in combination.

Structural relations between gestures in combination are first and foremost based on their temporalrelation to one another: a mere succession of gestures establishes a linear form of gesture combination, whereas an overlap of gestures establishes a simultaneous form.

Simultaneous gesture combinations may involve different forms of simultaneous time structures and therefore have been predominantly analyzed on the basis of the gestures’ temporal relation itself. Moreover, gestures in such a combination have been renamed and reframed as ‘simultaneous gesture constructions’ – thus relating gesture analysis to signed language research on similar forms of combination.

Linear gesture combinations, however, involve only one time structure and are therefore analyzed with respect to the further formal characteristics of the combined gestures in relation to one another: gestures might be related linearly by maintaining one or more of the four form parameters (hand shape, orientation of the hand, movement, and position in the gesture space) while changing the remaining ones. Presently, the use of gesture spaceis being worked on.

Further steps in this project take into account the findings of the subprojects P5 and P1:
– In collaboration with P5, the question of how the recurrent gestures identified so far combine with one another and with other gesture forms will be addressed.
– In collaboration with P1, the different gestural modes of representation in gestural combinations will be examined.