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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: The Anatomy of Meaning
Subtitle: Speech, Gesture, and Composite Utterances
Written By: Nicholas J. Enfield
Series Title: Language Culture and Cognition 8

How do we understand what others are trying to say? The answer cannot be
found in language alone. Words are linked to hand gestures and other
visible phenomena to create unified ‘composite utterances’. In this book N.
J. Enfield presents original case studies of speech-with-gesture based on
fieldwork carried out with speakers of Lao (a language of Southeast Asia).
He examines pointing gestures (including lip and finger-pointing) and
illustrative gestures (examples include depicting fish traps and tracing
kinship relations). His detailed analyses focus on the ‘semiotic
unification’ problem, that is, how to make a single interpretation when
multiple signs occur together. Enfield’s arguments have implications for
all branches of science with a stake in meaning and its place in human
social life. The book will appeal to all researchers interested in the
study of meaning, including linguists, anthropologists, and psychologists.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0521880645
ISBN-13: 9780521880640
Prices: U.K. £ 60.00
U.S. $ 115.00