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The Construal of Spatial MeaningWindows into Conceptual Space$
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Carita Paradis, Jean Hudson, and Ulf Magnusson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641635

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641635.001.0001

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Embodied Interaction and Semiotic Categorization: Communicative Gestures of a Girl with Patau Syndrome

Embodied Interaction and Semiotic Categorization: Communicative Gestures of a Girl with Patau Syndrome

Chapter:
(p.74) 6 Embodied Interaction and Semiotic Categorization: Communicative Gestures of a Girl with Patau Syndrome
Source:
The Construal of Spatial Meaning
Author(s):

Kristiina Jokinen

Silvi Tenjes

Ingrid Rummo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641635.003.0006

Ability to form symbolic concepts and understand meanings is an important part of human communication. In this chapter we investigate how hand movements and body posture bring forth the meaning in communicative situations. We focus on a young girl with the mosaic variant of Patau syndrome. The main point of interest is the embodiment of semiotic categories in the girl’s communication and the meaning constructed in space through her hand gestures. She extracts intricate information through gestures and body postures and is also able to impart meaning with hand gestures in communication situations. The analysis is based on the theories of semiotic categorization of signs, cooperative communication, and studies on hand gestures. The chapter is one of the first studies on the communicative behaviour of people with Patau syndrome. It contributes to explaining the communicative capability of people with this diagnosis, and shows how our ability to form symbolic concepts and understand meanings is reliant not so much on spoken language as on the human inherent ability to observe and interact with the surrounding world.

Keywords:   semiotic categorization, hand gestures, interaction, communication strategies, conversational space, patau mosaic syndrome

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