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‘Away’ gestures associated with negative expressions in narrative discourse in Syuba (Kagate, Nepal) speakers

journal contribution
posted on 15.03.2021, 02:27 by Lauren GawneLauren Gawne
This article examines the formal and functional features of a recurring ‘away’ gesture in Syuba (Tibeto-Burman, Nepal). The formal properties of this gesture include a pronation of the forearms to bring the palms downward while the fingers spread away, and is most often performed with both hands. Functionally, it is found with utterances that signal negation, particularly the absence of something. A growing body of literature links ‘away’ trajectories with negation, or negative evaluation of speech content cross-linguistically. The temporal alignment between these gesture and lexical content also shows that cross-linguistic differences in word order appear to affect performance of gestures associated with negated content.



  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences