The choreograpy of speech : introducing gesture studies - Université Bordeaux Montaigne

The choreograpy of speech : introducing gesture studies

Crédits ECTS : 6.0

Volume horaire CM : 12.0

Volume horaire TD : 12.0

Code ELP : MIA2Y25

Composante : UFR Langues et Civilisations

Période de l'année : Printemps

Formes d'enseignement : Non accessible à distance


Speakers are social movers (Birdwhistell 1970) who physically engage in communication. Their bodily moves are not only meaningful but patterned. In this seminar we learn to observe how speech is “orchestrated to a choreography of the human body” (Asher 1972). We look at how meanings- abstract or concrete- are not only produced but actually performed on the interactional stage. We start by observing facial expressions and co-speech gestures in silent movies. We gradually become aware that speech production necessarily comes with gestural action. We soon come to realize that vocal activity necessarily combines with other forms of semiotic expression. We try to elicit the pragmatic and representational functions of head tilts and nods, eyebrow activity, movements of the hands and arms, etc. We analyse the interpersonal, cohesive and representational properties of gesticulation. We learn how to observe, record and interpret gestural activity and gestural symbolism in context. We explore the relationship between grammar and gesture, i.e. how grammatical meanings are simultaneously encoded at the verbal and gestural levels. We also discuss language learning issues, ranging from TPR (“total physical response” strategies) to KineGrams (using gesture to explain how language works in the foreign language classroom).
Other theories of movement are brought into the picture: Schechner’s performance theory and Laban’s theory of modern educational dance. A third of your total study time will be spent at the University Arts Centre (Maison des Arts) for language and movement workshops + a “grand finale” session.

Informations complémentaires

No prior experience of the performing arts required.

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