Functional similarities between bimanual coordination and topic/comment structure

  • Human manual action exhibits a differential use of a non-dominant (typically, left) and a dominant (typically, right) hand. Human communication exhibits a pervasive structuring of utterances into topic and comment. I will point out striking similarities between the coordination of hands in bimanual actions, and the structuring of utterances in topics and comments. I will also show how principles of bimanual coordination influence the expression of topic/comment structure in sign languages and in gestures accompanying spoken language, and suggest that bimanual coordination might have been a preadaptation of the development of information structure in human communication.

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Author:Manfred KrifkaORCiDGND
Parent Title (German):Interdisciplinary studies on information structure / Ishihara, S., S. Jannedy, and A. Schwarz (eds.) ; Working Papers of the SFB 632, Interdisciplinary studies on information structure (ISIS) ; Vol. 8
Place of publication:Potsdam
Document Type:Part of a Book
Date of Publication (online):2008/11/06
Year of first Publication:2007
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2008/11/06
Tag:Evolution of Language; Handedness; Topic/Comment
Page Number:36
First Page:61
Last Page:96
Source:In: Interdisciplinary Studies on Information Structure 08 (2007): 61-96 Ishihara, S., S. Jannedy, and A. Schwarz (eds.)
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht