#4625. 戦後のジェスチャー研究の復活[gesture][paralinguistics][kinesics][history_of_linguistics][linguistics][origin_of_language][sign_language][semiotics][generative_grammar]


 「#4623. ジェスチャーとは何か?」 ([2021-12-23-1]) で触れたように,近年,言語学とも関わりの深い分野としてジェスチャー研究が盛んになってきている.ジェスチャー研究の学史を振り返ると,19世紀までは主に言語起源論や普遍言語との関連でジェスチャーへの関心は概ね健在だったが,20世紀前半に構造主義の時代が始まると,注目されることが少なくなった.
 しかし,戦後,ジェスチャー研究は復活を遂げる.背景には,言語学および関連学界における関心の移行があった.Kendon (81) が,この事情を次のように解説している.

In the first years following the Second World War, certain changes eventually produced a climate in which gesture again became relevant for theoretical issues related to language and thought. First, information theory and cybernetics, developed as solutions to problems in communication engineering, were applied in the study of communication within and between living systems, with the result that much thought and investigation came to be devoted to social communication. Not unrelated was the emergence of semiotics which, especially in North America, greatly broadened attention to sign processes, enhancing an interest in visible modes of signification, including gesture. Further, the question of language origins once again began to be taken seriously. When experiments with chimpanzees suggested that they might use gesture symbolically, as in a sign language, the idea of gesture as a first form of language was discussed once again . . . .
   At the same time, in psychology, complex mental processes once again became legitimate objects of investigation. Psychologists took an interest in language and the field of psycholinguistics was established. Noam Chomsky's work was especially important. He showed the inadequacy of a behaviourist approach to language and argued that linguistics should focus on 'competence', the mental apparatus making the acquisition and use of any language possible, rather than on descriptions of specific languages. Although neither Chomsky himself nor his followers showed interest in gesture, their mentalistic orientation was influential. When, later, psycholinguists looked at gesture, they did so for what it might reveal about the mental operations of utterance production.

 この引用文から,ジェスチャーへの関心を取り戻すのに貢献した,新時代の言語学と関連分野の潮流を表わすキーワードを並べれば,"information theory", "cybernetics", "semiotics", "origin_of_language", "sign_language", "Chomsky" 辺りだろうか.とりわけ,ソシュールの創始した構造主義言語学に代わってチョムスキーが装いを新たに心理主義言語学を復活させたことの意義は大きい.これにより言語と心理を結びつけてよいという前提が回復されたからである.
 関連分野の学史どうしは緊密に連携しているのだと実感した.合わせて「#252. 生成文法と言語起源論の復活」 ([2010-01-04-1]),「#519. 言語の起源と進化を探る研究分野」 ([2010-09-28-1]) なども参照.

 ・ Kendon, Adam. "History of the Study of Gesture." Chapter 3 of The Oxford Handbook of the History of Linguistics. Ed. Keith Allan. Oxford: OUP, 2013. 71--89.

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