Re: Language, gesture, etc.

Ruby Rohrlich (rohrlich@GWIS2.CIRC.GWU.EDU)
Wed, 14 Feb 1996 10:04:43 -0500

And what about the fact that when you go into a country whose language you
don't know, you can frequently make yourself understood through
gestures. Ruby Rohrlich

On Wed, 14 Feb 1996, Ania Lian wrote:

> On Tue, 13 Feb 1996, Ronald Kephart wrote:
> > > There's already been speculation that hand gestures and signing
> preceded > > verbal language in human evolution.
> HOW do we know what preceded what? Ron says it is clear. Not to me. I have
> never noticed that words have the role of taking over the gesture. Has
> anybody? The only field that assmes that gesture was first (sounds like
> the bible) and then came the word and then came grammar is linguistics (of
> the poor kind). If word came after gesture did it substitute the gesture?
> And if grammar followed the word did it substitute the word? Why couldn't
> they just have been always together? You know like with cats. Or your cat
> does not talk??
> By gesture often and mistakenly is understood a sign which says, say,
> "hello". But, .. have you noticed that if you watch a French movie
> without sound without the "signifying gestures" of that kind, you can
> still tell that the people are French, Italin, German, etc. What gives
> them this culturally adjusted way of moving, holding themselves? I mean
> why is it that French hold their body in grater tension than say English?
> What was ffirst, the gesture, the body tension, and then a word?
> ania