The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LingLunch 11/19 - Naomi Francis (University of Oslo)

Speaker: Naomi Francis (University of Oslo)
Title: Marking objections with gestures
Time: Thursday, November 19th, 12:30pm – 1:50pm

Abstract: This talk explores the role of a gesture, which I call WAYTA (for What Are You Talking About?!), in marking particularly strong objections. I argue that the distribution of this gesture is sensitive to properties of discourse that are also relevant for the distribution of elements of spoken language (e.g., actually, doch), and that this gesture can replace otherwise obligatory linguistic material. I also discuss crosslinguistic variation and the division of labour between gesture, prosody, and the material that they overlay.