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Book Chapter

“Fish traps” task


Enfield,  N. J.
Language and Cognition Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Enfield, N. J. (2003). “Fish traps” task. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 31). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877616.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-5519-C
This task is designed to elicit virtual 3D ‘models’ created in gesture space using iconic and other representational gestures. This task has been piloted with Lao speakers, where two speakers were asked to explain the meaning of terms referring to different kinds of fish trap mechanisms. The task elicited complex performances involving a range of iconic gestures, and with especially interesting use of (a) the ‘model/diagram’ in gesture space as a virtual object, (b) the non-dominant hand as a prosodic/semiotic anchor, (c) a range of different techniques (indexical and iconic) for evoking meaning with the hand, and (d) the use of nearby objects and parts of the body as semiotic ‘props’.