Cover: Hearing Gesture: How Our Hands Help Us Think, from Harvard University PressCover: Hearing Gesture in PAPERBACK

Hearing Gesture

How Our Hands Help Us Think

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$28.50 • £22.95 • €25.50

ISBN 9780674018372

Publication Date: 10/31/2005

Trade

304 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

25 line illustrations, 2 tables

Belknap Press

World

Many nonverbal behaviors—smiling, blushing, shrugging—reveal our emotions. One nonverbal behavior, gesturing, exposes our thoughts. This book explores how we move our hands when we talk, and what it means when we do so.

Susan Goldin-Meadow begins with an intriguing discovery: when explaining their answer to a task, children sometimes communicate different ideas with their hand gestures than with their spoken words. Moreover, children whose gestures do not match their speech are particularly likely to benefit from instruction in that task. Not only do gestures provide insight into the unspoken thoughts of children (one of Goldin-Meadow’s central claims), but gestures reveal a child’s readiness to learn, and even suggest which teaching strategies might be most beneficial.

In addition, Goldin-Meadow characterizes gesture when it fulfills the entire function of language (as in the case of Sign Languages of the Deaf), when it is reshaped to suit different cultures (American and Chinese), and even when it occurs in children who are blind from birth.

Focusing on what we can discover about speakers—adults and children alike—by watching their hands, this book discloses the active role that gesture plays in conversation and, more fundamentally, in thinking. In general, we are unaware of gesture, which occurs as an undercurrent alongside an acknowledged verbal exchange. In this book, Susan Goldin-Meadow makes clear why we must not ignore the background conversation.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, by Lindsay Chervinsky, from Harvard University Press

Why You Should Participate in an (Online) Book Club

Online book clubs can be a rewarding way to connect with readers, Lindsay Chervinsky discovered, when she was invited to join one to discuss her book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution. Since my book was published in April 2020, I’ve discovered that my work appeals to three main audiences. First, the general readers who are enthusiastic about history, attend virtual events, and tend to support local historic sites. Second, readers who are curious about our government institutions and the current political climate and are looking for answers about its origins. And third, history, social studies, and government teachers