Invitation - "The Quoting Gesture in Israeli Hebrew discourse”

24 May, 2020

Dear Linguists,

All are invited for the fourth zoom talk for this semester, titled “The Quoting Gesture in Israeli Hebrew discourse”, which will be given by Leon Shor & Michal Marmorstein (HUJI), on Tuesday May 26, 14:30-16:00 (see abstract below).

Meeting ID: 912 0031 1810

Password: 405508

See you!


The Quoting Gesture in Israeli Hebrew discourse

Leon Shor & Michal Marmorstein


Co-speech gestures contribute in various forms to the meaning of the utterance of which they are a part. In this talk, we explore the use of the Quoting Gesture (QG)—a gesture carried over from the graphic to the kinesic medium—in Israeli Hebrew discourse. Based on a collection of 70 instances coming from television programs, we analyze the formal realizations of QGs, their functions, and their temporal alignment and interplay with co-produced verbal segments. While typically realized by raising and flexing the index and middle fingers of both hands once or twice, QGs present some variation in the number of hands used and flexes made, as well as in the duration of the gesture. Concomitantly produced with various types of verbal segments, QGs have an interpretive function in implicitly attributing these segments to some other, concrete or imagined, speaker and thereby distancing the actual speaker from the cited words. Notably, QGs often operate in concert with co-expressive verbal resources, such as hedging expressions and longer meta-lingual comments, that spell out verbally the interpretive function implicit in the use of QG. More broadly, the QG illustrates that speakers are reflective about lexicon, not only in choosing words or formulations, but in problematizing the appropriation of lexicon.