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Hand Gestures History And Usage Communications Essay
Published: 23, March 2015

In this paper I will talk about the part of nonverbal communication called gestures. A gesture is a movement of the body or a part of it that is expressive of thought or feeling. However there is a degree of voluntarism. If someone pinches you and you flinch that is not a gesture. (Kendon, 1997) Gestures are a common part of communication that we all use to communicate everyday and most of us do not even think twice about using them. As gestures can include a wide range of things a narrower focus is required. For this paper I will be focusing on gestures specifically involving the use of hands and/or fingers. First I will talk about research done on gestures. Second I will talk about the interaction between gestures and verbal language. Lastly I will apply the use of gestures to personal friendships using , examples from an episode from the television show Smallville.


Let us first consider primates such as apes and chimpanzees. Primates are mostly visual animals. Just as in humans, for primates vision is more highly developed than any of the other four senses including the sense of sound. Consider for a moment what this might mean. Primates, with the exception of humans, have much better cortical control over hand movements than over voice, which is mostly restricted to emotionally based sounds controlled by sub cortical structures. This means that early hominids would have been better at expressive, voluntary communication using hands. Perhaps this explains why it is much easier to teach higher level primates sign language than it is to teach them to speak. One early study showed that a chimpanzee raised by humans could learn to speak only three or four words but gorillas and chimpanzees have learned several hundred manual signs. (Corballis, 1999)

However primates other than humans are restricted in using hands for communications because the arms and hands are also involved in postural support and locomotion. Most primates are adapted for living above ground in the tress. Apes live on the ground but move in a four legged fashion. Our closest genetic relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas, use what is known as knuckle walking in which the upper body is supported by the knuckles. Hominids are bipedal, walking upright which leaves their hands and arms free. (Corballis, 1999)

There is speculation that the split that resulted in some great apes becoming hominids may have been caused by the formation of the Great Rift Valley in Africa. Those apes which were to become hominids were largely confined to the east of the valley. The discovery of a 3.5 million year old fossil in Chad which is west of the valley has caused some argument. However all other hominid fossils from between four million and two million years论文英语论文网提供整理,提供论文代写英语论文代写代写论文代写英语论文代写留学生论文代写英文论文留学生论文代写相关核心关键词搜索。

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