10301 - The interaction of ideophones, gestures and lexical verbs in the presentation of motion events in Awetí discourse

Awetí (Tupian) is spoken by ca. 170 individuals in the Upper Xingu area in Brazil. During a DoBeS project (2000-2006) the language was extensively documented. Especially video recordings permit a careful analysis of iconic or mimetic signs of communication such as representational gesture or the multi-modal phenomenon of ideophones (cf. Reiter to appear). Ideophones exist throughout the Amazonian lowlands. They are less arbitrary than other words and depict rather than describe events (cf. Dingemanse 2009). They tightly correlate with gesture and marked prosody as expressive modes of communication. Co-speech gestures can have various functions in relation to spoken words. In the representation of Awetí motion events (Talmy 2007) ideophones and gestures are frequently used to complement or even replace motion verbs. Ideophones in Awetí usually depict activities, mostly providing information on the internal temporal structure of the event such as punctuality or iterativity. They are consistently accompanied by gestures which also depict features of the activity. In the expression of motion events, by contrast, the ideophone always depicts the manner component, while the motion verb refers to the path. Co-occurring gestures also depict the path and in specific discourse environments additionally provide information on the manner of the movement. Vowel lengthening and marked prosody during the utterance of the ideophone can additionally depict spatial or temporal distance. In this paper the interaction of the different modes of communication to represent motion events in space and time will be investigated by a qualitative and quantitative corpus analysis. Dingemanse, M. (2009). "Ideophones in unexpected places". In: Austin, P. K. et al. (eds.). Proceedings of the LDLT Conference 2, 83-94. London: SOAS. Reiter, S. (to appear). Ideophones in Awetí. Doct. Diss. Univ. of Kiel. Talmy, L. (2007). “Lexical typologies”. In: Shopen, T. (ed.). Language Typology and Syntactic Description. Vol. 3. 2nd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 66-168.

Palabras claves: Tupian, motion events, gesture, ideophones

Autores: Reiter, Sabine (Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Germany / Deutschland)


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