Tag Archives: theory

McNeill’s growth points

McNeill, D. (1997). Growth points cross-linguistically. In J. Nuyts & E. Pederson (Eds.) Language and conceptualization. Language, Culture, and Cognition (Vol. 1, pp. 190-212). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

McNeill takes us on a familiar trip through Kendon’s continuum and a reintroduction to his four-part classification scheme for gesticulations, slightly revised compared to other work summarized here. He then argues for the synchrony and complementarity (but not redundancy) of speech and gesture, and gesture’s potential role as a route to visual-spatial thought. He defines his concept of a growth point and how it might develop into a speech-gesture utterance, bringing along some Vygotskian dialectic for the ride.

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