LINGUIST List 28.1273

Wed Mar 15 2017

Diss: Towards a Theory of Gesture Form Analysis. Imaginary Forms as Part of Gesture Conceptualisation, with Empirical Support from Motion-Capture Data

Editor for this issue: Kenneth Steimel <kenlinguistlist.org>


Date: 13-Mar-2017
From: Julius Hassemer <gjuliushassemer.de>
Subject: Towards a Theory of Gesture Form Analysis. Imaginary Forms as Part of Gesture Conceptualisation, with Empirical Support from Motion-Capture Data
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Institution: Rheinische-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
Program: Researches in Applied Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2016

Author: Julius Hassemer

Dissertation Title: Towards a theory of Gesture Form Analysis. Imaginary forms as part of gesture conceptualisation, with empirical support from motion-capture data

Dissertation URL: www.juliushassemer.de

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Dissertation Director:
Irene Mittelberg
Klaus Willmes-von Hinckeldey
Cornelia Müller

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation presents the theory and application of Gesture Form Analysis, which systematises necessary processes of spatial conceptualisation for understanding a specific gesture type (pointing, drawing, representing etc.). Eight gesture form operations are proposed, which are combined in a modular fashion. They are applied in the analysis of gestures of the dissertation corpus and of other literature. The gesture type Pointing At Location is composed of the operations Articulator Profiling (e.g., straight extended arm, hand and index), Shape Profiling (the predominant axis, a line, is profiled), Continuation (the line is continued, indicating a direction), and Intersection (the line intersects with the surface of an object in a point: the location pointed at). The gesture type Drawing—while otherwise containing the same operations as Pointing At Location—requires adding the operation of Trace Leaving (by moving the arm, and hence all the other forms created by the above operations, the point leaves a trace in form of a line). The geometrical operations of Gesture Form Analysis (and the constituent forms specified in parentheses) consider specifically the spatial modality of gesture, taking a first step towards a strictly form-based gesture semantics. The systematic analysis of operations across gesture types results in a gesture typology, in which the dimensions of all constituent forms are defined; thus being open to computational application. The fundamental theoretical distinction of gesture form being non-equivalent to the mere physical form of the articulators (articulator form) is supported by an object-description study in an optical motion-capture system. The methods include operationalising three-dimensional gesture data, for example by a plugin for the video-annotation software Elan.


Page Updated: 15-Mar-2017