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Conceptual and lexical effects on gestures: the case of vertical spatial metaphors for time in Chinese

Gu, Y; Mol, L; Hoetjes, M; Swerts, M; (2017) Conceptual and lexical effects on gestures: the case of vertical spatial metaphors for time in Chinese. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience , 32 (8) pp. 1048-1063. 10.1080/23273798.2017.1283425. Green open access

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Abstract

The linguistic metaphors of time appear to influence how people gesture about time. This study finds that Chinese English bilinguals produce more vertical gestures when talking about Chinese time references with vertical spatial metaphors than (1) when talking about time conceptions in the English translations, and (2) when talking about Chinese time references with no spatial metaphors. Additionally, Chinese English bilinguals prefer vertical gestures to lateral gestures when perceiving Chinese time references with vertical spatial metaphors and the corresponding English translations, whereas there is no such preference when perceiving time references without spatial metaphors. Furthermore, this vertical tendency is not due to the fact that vertical gestures are generally less ambiguous than lateral gestures for addressees. In conclusion, the vertical gesturing about time by Chinese English bilinguals is shaped by both the stable language-specific conceptualisations, and the online changes in linguistic choices.

Type: Article
Title: Conceptual and lexical effects on gestures: the case of vertical spatial metaphors for time in Chinese
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/23273798.2017.1283425
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2017.1283425
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/ 4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: Gesture production and perception, space, time, metaphor, Chinese–English bilinguals
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10044072
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