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THE COMMUNICATIVE FUNCTIONS OF GESTURES IN L2 SPEECH

Abstract

By comparing the frequency of hand gestures used by native Chinese speakers in their L1 Chinese conversation, and that of the same speakers in their L2 English speech when they talk to native speakers of English, this study supports Gullberg (1998) and Hardar, Dar and Teitelman’s  (2001) claim that L2 speakers do tend to use more gestures in L2 speech. Unlike previous gestural studies that focus on gestures used while narrating a watched cartoon or a video to the interlocutors, this study investigates the use of gestures in conversational settings and transcends the narrator-centered paradigm of data analysis to incorporate the interaction of the interlocutors and how that influences their subsequent use of gestures. Detailed analysis of the contextualized gestures in their L2 English speech suggests that interlocutors use gestures as a communicative strategy to ensure the smooth flow of the conversation and to enhance comprehension of their speech.

How to Cite

Zhao J., (2006) “THE COMMUNICATIVE FUNCTIONS OF GESTURES IN L2 SPEECH”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 13(0). p.1-17.

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Authors

Jun Zhao (University of Arizona)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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