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The hand (and its parts) as a source (and target) in figurative thought and language Ad Foolen, Radboud University Nijmegen.

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Presentation on theme: "The hand (and its parts) as a source (and target) in figurative thought and language Ad Foolen, Radboud University Nijmegen."— Presentation transcript:

1 The hand (and its parts) as a source (and target) in figurative thought and language Ad Foolen, Radboud University Nijmegen

2 Why hand? Embodiment enactive embodiment hand plays a central role in enaction – cf. John Stewart et al. (2010) Enaction. Toward a new paradigm for cognitive science. 2

3 Linguistic studies Kinga Erzse (2006) German and Rumanian Sonila Sadikaj (2006) German and Albanian Ahn & Kwon (2007) English Márquez Linares & Moreno Ortiz (2009) Spanish Vainik (2009) Estonian Staffeldt (2011) German Anastasios Vogiatzis (2012) Greek and English 3

4 Studies in other fields Charles Bell (1833) The hand. Frank Hamilton Cushing (1892) Manual concepts (Fieldwork Zuni Indians) Géza Révész (1958 [1942]) The human hand: a psychological study. Frank Wilson (1998) The hand. How its use shapes the brain, language, and human culture. Zdravko Radman (ed.) (2013) The hand, an organ of the mind. 4

5 Chirognomy 5

6 Evolution of hominids Bipedalism Opposite thumb fine grip Brain evolved as hand-monitor, cf. Gallagher (2013: 220): the brain – it doesnt work by itself, but in a larger system that includes the hands. This makes rationality in some respects enactive or action-oriented. 6

7 Cortical humunculus 7

8 Ago ergo sum 8

9 Outline 2: Hand (and its parts) as target domain 3: Hand and fingers as source domain 4: A specific target domain: numerals 5: Handedness as part of laterality 6: The gestural origin of language 7: Conclusion 9

10 2. Hand and fingers as target Hand itself: the grasper Hand and χέρι Enfield et al. (2006) Cross-linguistic categorization of the body Albanian: Plant Hand (dry, not working) Paws, claws hand Andaman: thumb ön-o-bo-tabe head of the hand 10

11 Target continued Japanese: family fingers. oya ubi = older finger, ko-ubi = child finger. Other fingers: uncle, brother, sister. Dutch muis (cf. muscle) Hand Palm tree (leave) Finger nail metal nail 11

12 3. Hand as source domain Compounds and derivations: Verbs: Dutch handelen to act, to do business, behandelen treat, afhandelen finish business, onderhandelen to negotiate. Adjectives: handig handy, onhandelbaar hard to handle Nouns: washandje wash-cloth, English handyman, handkerchief 12

13 Phraseologisms in Duden 11: Form Hand – Hände – Händchen Hij heeft er een handje van om X te doen He has a little hand to do X, i.e. he tends to do X in a quick and secret way. German Händchen halten to hold little hands 13

14 Duden 11: Form continued Quantification: keine, zwei, beide, viele, alle – Mit beiden Händen zugreifen, – Dutch: twee handen op één buik two hands on one belly Adjectives: voll, leer, sauber, schmutzig, gut, sicher, erste, letzte, frei, lose, fest, locker, offen, hohl, helfend, schützend, klebrig, hart, sanft, linke rechte, grün, treu, gut, sicher. 14

15 Form continued Verbs: kriegen, geben, übergehen, greifen; sein, liegen, haben; fallen Syntactic function of hand: - Not often as subject. Eine Hand wäscht die andere manus manum lavat (Seneca, Petronius) - More often as object: Die Hände in den Schoß legen to lay the hands in the lap, doing nothing - Most often as prepositional object: Das liegt auf der Hand that is obvious. 15

16 Form continued Prepositions (hand as PP): in, an, aus, zu durch, bei, auf, unter, von Other body parts: Haar, Auge, Mund, Herz, Bauch, Knie, Fuß – Sich vor Lachen auf die Knie schlagen to slap on your knees because of laughing. Dutch: Je op je knieën slaan van het lachen. – Von der Hand in den Mund leben: to be poor, easily spend money. Dutch: Van de hand in de tand leven. 16

17 Semantics of idioms Goossens (1990), Geeraerts (2002), Barnden (2010), Radden, Panther, Barcelona, Brdar, etc. Dutch: Hij kreeg de handen er niet voor op elkaar He didnt get the hands on eacht other for it [the proposal] 17

18 Vogiatzis (2012): 9 target domains 1. help/affection 2. control/lack of control/freedom 3. skill/action/lack of ability 4. money 5. proximity 6. assault 7. responsibility / lack of responsibility 8. success / failure 9. certainty 18

19 Poster of right wing party VVD 19

20 Hand in Greek certainty Βάζω το χέρι μου στη φωτιά [put my hand in fire]: Be sure for what someone says Κόβω/δίνω το δεξί μου χέρι [cut/give my right hand]: Be sure for what someone says Ψηφίσω κάποιον και με τα δυο χέρια [Vote for sb with both hands] : Vote for sb without any doubt Πηγαίνω με το σταυρό στο χέρι [move/go with the cross in hand] : In an honest way, believing that all others follow the rules as well Βάζω το χέρι μου στο ευαγγέλιο [put my hand on the Gospel] : Be sure for what sb saysευαγγέλιο Να μου κοπεί το χέρι αν [my hand to be cut if]: Used to show that sb tells the truth 20

21 Other languages Dutch certainty: – De hand voor iemand in het vuur durven steken, to put the hand in the fire for someone – Mn hand eraf my hand off German Aus erster hand, Rumanian: din prima surša (Erzse) Albanian: protection not as target domain (Sadikaj) 21

22 Target Domain 6: Assault (and other negative domains) - Assault, aggression, fighting: handgemeen, op de vuist gaan, losse handen hebben, - If someone is handtastelijk, touching by hand, he easily touches other people, in particular from the other sex. - suicide is called de hand aan zichzelf slaan to put the hand on yourself. - stealing: In Sesoeto you can say o letsoho he is a hand, meaning he is a thief - Trade and agreements: handjeklap with the diminutive from hand, combined with the stem of the verb klappen, to clap. This means that people make a deal to their advantage, secretly, excluding others. 22

23 Other target domains? Time, see French maintenant now, lit. hand holding, see for different explanations Van Ginneken (1939) and etymological dictionaries Character traits and feelings: – Zwaar op de hand zijn to be heavy on the hand, i.e. not easy-going – Met de handen in het haar zitten to sit with the hands in the hair, i.e. to be desperate 23

24 4. Numerals Heine (1997: 21): The human hand provides the most important model for structuring the numeral system. 5 or 10 as base 24

25 Numerals continued Stanislaus Dehaene (1997) The number sense: Subitizing Dan Everett (2012) about Pirahã 1: finger 2: finger, finger 3: middle 4: small hand 5: Austronesian lima 6: jump 7: hand and two 8: two peaks 9: two hands minus one 10: decem two hands 20: one man 25

26 Depicting numerals Cushing (1892: 297): It seems more than probable that the figures and letters in this system [Roman numerals], representing all numbers up to ten, at least, were selected or devised by their earliest inventors, in either deliberate or spontaneous imitation of the fingers, of, first, the left hand, then of the right, as used and seen in counting. I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X 1, 2, 3 26

27 Numerals and writing Röhr (1994): 82): the ability to account for the storage of numerical information has always played an integral part in the evolution of different systems of writing. 27

28 5. Handedness Handedness and laterality: general questions (cf. McManus 2002) Asymmetry, Corballis (1991) The lopsided ape – Typically human? (Answer: probably yes) – Holistic (hand – foot – brain)? (Answer: probably no) – Cause of right handedness in humans Cushing: heart protecting & fighting; Wilson: holding child left right hand is free for action) (Evaluation: unproven stories) 28

29 5. Laterality Neutral hand expressions: On one hand … on the other hand Dutch Aan de ene kant … aan de andere kant German einerseits … andererseits Casasanto: individual level, handedness and subjective preferences go together Cultural level: right side is the preferred one, see: Latin: Ad dexteram Patris; sinister To be someones right hand, He has two left hands. German: Das mache ich doch mit links! German Ehe zur linken Hand, marriage with the left hand. But Spanish: positive connotation of mano izquierda left hand, meaning gentle hand 29

30 Laterality continued: different names for left and right hand - In Anglosaxon, the right hand is called swidra, which means the strong one. - Bakongo: – right hand is kooko kwalubakala = the hand of men – left hand is kooko kwalukento = the hand of women - Basoeto: – right hand is letsoho la hoja = the hand for eating – left hand is letsoho la botsoara-thebe = the hand for taking the shield 30

31 Paraskevi Argyriou & Sotaro Kita (2013) Left-hand gesture has a stimulating effect on metaphor processing (strengthened awareness of relation between source and target) Explaining metaphors to L2 learners, for example: To spill the beans Group 1: no gestures Group 2: right hand gestures Group 3: left hand gestures (more explanations involving the source domain) 31

32 6. Gestural origin of language Van Ginneken (1939), Corballis (1991, 2002), Armstrong et al. (1995) Gestures still play an important role in communication Some figurative expressions relate to (emblematic) gestures, like high-five, fingers crossed, thumps up. More studies on the relation between figurative language and gesture are necessary. 32

33 7. Conclusion - Hand is a productive source (and target) domain for figurative expressions. -This fits the view that enactive embodiment is the basis for cognition and language. -Further cross-linguistic research is needed to understand the balance between universals and cultural variation in the role of the hand in conceptualization. 33

34 References Ahn, Hyun Jung & Yeon Jin Kwon A study on metaphor and metonymy of Hand. Journal of Language Sciences 14:2, Argyriou, Paraskevi & Sotaro Kita (2013) The effect of left-hand gesture on metaphor explanation. /The_Effect_of_Left-Hand_Gestures_on_Metaphor_Explanation /The_Effect_of_Left-Hand_Gestures_on_Metaphor_Explanation Armstrong, David F., William C. Stokoe Sherman E. Wilcox Gesture and the nature of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Barnden, John A Metaphor and metonymy: Making their connections more slippery. Cognitive Linguistics 21(1), Bell, Charles The hand: Its mechanisms and vital endowments as evincing design. London: William Pickering. Casasanto, Daniel and Evangelia G. Chrysikou When Left Is Right: Motor Fluency Shapes Abstract Concepts. Psychological Science 22(4), 419 –422. Corballis, Michael The lopsided ape. Evolution of the generative mind. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Corballis, Michael From hand to mouth. The origins of language. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press. Crow, Tim Directionality is the key to the origin of modern Homo sapiens (the Broca-Annett axiom): A reply to Rogers view of The speciation of modern homo sapiens. Laterality: Asymmetries of body, brain and cognition 9(2), Cushing, Frank Hamilton Manual concepts: A study of the influence of hand-usage on culture-growth. American Anthropologist 5:4, Dehaene, Stanislaus The number sense: How the mind creates mathematics. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press. Enfield, Nick J., Asifa Majid, and Mirjam van Staden Cross-linguistic categorization of the body: Introduction. Language Sciences 28, Erzse, Kinga Hand und Fuß im interkulturellen Vergleich. Eine kontrastive Untersuchung von Redewendungen im Deutschen und Rumänischen. In: Germanistische Beiträge, Nr Sibiu / Hermannstadt: Lucian-Blaga-Universität, Foolen, Ad The heart as a source of semiosis: The case of Dutch. In: F. Sharafian et al. (eds.) Culture, body, and language. Conceptualizations of internal body organs across cultures and languages. Amsterdam: Benjamins, Everett, Daniel L Language: The cultural tool. New York: Pantheon. Geeraerts, Dirk The interaction of metaphor and metonymy in composite expressions. In: R. Dirven & R. Pörings (eds.), Metaphor and metonymy in comparison and contrast. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter,

35 References continued Ginneken, Jacques van La reconstruction typologique des langues archaïques de lhumanité. Amsterdam: Noord-Hollandsche Uittevers- Maatschappij. Goossens, Louis Metaphtonymy: The interaction of metaphor and metonymy in expressions for linguistic action. Cognitive Linguistics 1, Gvozdanović, Jadranka. Ed Numeral types and changes worldwide. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Heine, Bernd Cognitive foundations of grammar. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Luján Martínez, Eugenio Ramón The Indo-European system of numerals from 1 to 10. In: J. Gvozdanović (ed.), Majewicz, Alfred F Le role du doigt et de la main et leurs designations en certaines langues dans la formation des systems particuliers de numeration et des noms de nombre. Lingua Posnaniensis 26, Also in Fanny de Sievers (ed.) (1981), Marchand, Trevor, H.J Knowledge in hand: Explorations of brain, hand and tool. In: Richard Fardon et al. (eds.), The Sage handbook of social anthropology. Vol. 2, Márquez Linares, Carlos, and Antonio Moreno Ortiz Fraseología comparada mediante el uso de córpora textuales: el caso de mano/hand. In Estudios de lingüística descriptiva y comparada. Sevilla: Kronos, McManus, Chris Right Hand, Left Hand: the origins of asymmetry in brains, bodies, atoms and cultures. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Radman, Zdravko ed The hand, an organ of the mind. What the manual tells the mental. Révész, Géza The human hand: a psychological study. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Röhr, Heinz Markus Writing. Its evolution and relation to speech. Bochum: Brockmeyer. Sadikaj, Sonila Metaphorische Konzepte in somatischen Phraseologismen des Deutschen und Albanischen. Eine kontrastive Untersuchung anhand von Herz- und Hand-Somatismen. Phd. Würzburg, de Sievers, Fanny. Ed La main et les doigts dans lexpression linguistique. Paris:SELAF. Staffeldt, Sven Die phraseologische Konstruktionsfamilie [X Präp Hand Verb]. Zeitschrift für germanistische Linguistik 39, Stewart, John, Olivier Gapenne and Ezequiel A. Di Paolo. Eds Enaction. Toward a New Paradigm for Cognitive Science. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Vainik, Ene Towards a conceptualized model of bodily communication: A study of hand-expressions in Estonian. In: J. Zlatev, M. Andrén, C. Lundmark, and M. Falck Johnsson (eds.) Studies in Language and Cognition. London: Cambridge Scholars Press,

36 Thank you! 36

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