Dr. Silva Ladewig
University of Göttingen
Silva Ladewig is interested in the embodied nature of language. For this she studies multimodality from a linguistic perspective in the fields of Pragmatics, Cognitive Grammar, Cognitive Semantics and Dynamic Multimodal Communication. Of special interest are stabilization processes in gestures and the interface between gesture and sign which she explores now at the Sign Language Lab at the University of Göttingen. Silva received her Ph.D. in Linguistics at the European University Viadrina in 2012 where she has worked in many interdisciplinary projects on the integration of gesture and speech, the linguistic potential of gestures, and the dynamics of multimodal metaphors.
- Harrison, Simon, Silva H. Ladewig & Jana Bressem (eds.) (2021). The diversity of recurrency: Recurrent gesture cross-linguistically, Gesture 20:2 (Special Issue).
- Harrison, Simon & Silva H. Ladewig (2021). Recurrent gestures throughout bodies, languages, and cultural practices. In: Gesture 20:2, 153–179.
- Ladewig, Silva H. (to appear). Recurrent gestures. In: Alan Cienki (Hg.), The Cambridge Handbook of Gesture Studies. Cambridge.
- Ladewig, Silva H. & Lena Hotze (2021). The Slapping movement as an embodied practice of dislike: Inter-affectivity in interactions among children. In: Gesture 20:2, 285–312.
- Ladewig, Silva H. (2020). Integrating Gestures. The Dimension of Multimodality in Cognitive Grammar. Berlin/ Amsterdam: De Gruyter Mouton
Recurrent gestures are conventionalized, co-speech gestural forms that show functional similarities with linguistic elements of spoken and signed languages. They are specialized in pragmatic meaning making and form culturally shared repertoires. Although their study may offer insights into stabilization processes of human expressive modes, research on gestures has largely focused on spontaneously created forms. This project fills this research gap. Based on existing corpora of recurrent gestures and on additional data, different processes of stabilization in gestures will be explored. In a second step, the identified routes of stabilization in gestures will be compared with lexicalization processes and grammaticalization processes in signs of sign language. In doing so, the project concentrates on two hitherto understudied facets of recurrent gestures, i.e., (1) the emergent stabilization of gesture families and (2) the temporal and functional dynamics of stabilized gesture sequences. By addressing these two aspects of recurrent gestures and by comparing them to the evolution and structure of signs, the project formulates 3) a media-specific and cross-modal approach to stabilization processes in gestures and signs defining characteristics that both modalities share and those which are linguistic.