From embodied metaphors to metaphoric gestures


Humans turn abstract referents and discourse structures into gesture using metaphors. The semantic relation between abstract communicative intentions and their physical realization in gesture is a question that has not been fully addressed. Our hypothesis is that a limited set of primary metaphors and image schemas underlies a wide range of gestures. Our analysis of a video corpus supports this view: over 90% of the gestures in the corpus are structured by image schemas via a limited set of primary metaphors. This analysis informs the extension of a computational model that grounds various communicative intentions to a physical, embodied context, using those primary metaphors and image schemas. This model is used to generate gesture performances for virtual characters.

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