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Доклад опубликован в рамках III Областной научно – практической конференции учащихся на английском и немецком языках «Культурное наследие стран изучаемого языка», посвященной 350-летию Дж. Свифта, 25 февраля 2017.

Островская Наталия Сергеевна, МАОУ Домодедовский лицей №3
им. Героя СоветскогоСоюза Ю.П. Максимова

Руководитель: Бабынина Татьяна Васильевна,
учитель английского языка

Scientists have studied gestures for many centuries from different points of view. During the Roman Empire, Quintilian studied how gestures may be used in rhetorical discourse. Another famous study of gestures was published by John Bulwer in 1644.
From one culture to another, hand gestures take a unique meaning and symbolism. Many times, we tend to use our hands to explain our thoughts and what we need. The same gesture can mean something unpleasant and disrespectful to a person from a different culture. When you visit a new city or a country, it is important to learn what certain gestures mean especially if you do not want to offend another person.
The human's face is also studied like a treasury of meanings. It reflects a man's individual features and his difference from other individuals. «The language of the body» and «the language of the face» are used with mimicry, gestures, poses and walk. «The Jungle Book», «Rikki-Tikki-Tavi» and other tales by Rudyard Kipling show us how the author uses the collocations of mimicry and gestures to present animals with human's characters and behaviour.
So, the main objectives of our study are:

  • ​ to learn what kinesics is,
  • to research different types of gestures and mimicry in modern science,
  • to analyze R. Kipling's works and try to classify the words according to the types of kinesics.

The relevance of our study is determined by the following factors:

  • the need of the theoretical understanding of kinesics;
  • the wish to find more collocations which reflect the mimicry and gestures as means of communication.

Gestures are usually made with hands, but in some cases with other parts of the body. Reflections on gestures can sometimes be found in the literature of early history, for example in the Bible.
There are various gestures but they always contain the same element: a gesture is a combination of a body movement and a meaning.
Despite a long history, scientific study of gestures is a product of the nineteenth century. At that time gestures were divided into two types. One type consists of conventionalized body movements or limited actions, such as pointing with the hand or shaking hands. Their meaning is clearly understood, they play an important part in everyday communication. The other group of gestures consists of body movements made without conscious intention, often even without a person's being aware of performing them. We can understand them as communicating some message. For instance, blushing is interpreted as a sign of shame; going pale is considered as a sign of sudden fear.
However, modern science defines 5 types of gestures.

  • Emblematic Gestures.

It is the most well-known type of gestures. They show emblematic representations of words or thoughts, such as the peace sign.

  • Iconic Gestures.

Iconic gestures often accompany words and use as further illustration of what is being made. You may make a gesture that adds a comedic element to what is being said.

  • Metaphoric Gestures.

These gestures can convey an idea in a general way, such as waving the arms in the air when you describe something difficult. These kinds of gestures add emotions to what is being said. Such gestures can include taking off eyeglasses for emphasis.

  • Affect Gestures.

These gestures convey unconscious feelings or wishes. Rubbing the eyes, touching the hair, or covering the mouth, are affective.

  • Beat Gestures.

They are widely used by speakers. Professional speakers can learn to use beat gestures to add special emphasis to certain words.
Nevertheless, in 1952 Ray Birdwhistell, an anthropologist, first used the word kinesics defining the study about how people communicate through gesture, stance, and movement. His ideas were synthesized and resulted in the book, Kinesics and Context.
Kinesics is the interpretation of body motion communication such as facial expressions and gestures - that is, nonverbal behaviour related to movement of any part of the body or the body as a whole. The equivalent popular culture term is «a body language».
Researchers Ekman and Friesen established five basic kinds of movements:
1) Emblems;
2) Illustrators;
3) Regulators;
4) Affect displays;
5) Adaptors.
1) Emblems are such movements as waving hello and shaking hands. Some emblems have become so fully crystallized in themselves, and what they convey has become so deeply engraved in our minds, that they could be detached from the figure performing them. One example of such an independent gesture is the movement of making the sign of the cross.
2) Illustrators provide a visual image to what we try to say verbally. They make sense when they are added to the verbal mix.
We use illustrators all the time especially when we try to describe an object to someone who's unfamiliar with it.
3) Regulators are expressions and gestures that help us control and understand conversations better. It includes a mix of many aspects of body language such as: eye contact, touch, hand gestures, head nods or head shakes, facial expressions and vocal cues. For instance, we may start to move away, signaling that we want communication to stop, or we may raise a finger or lift our head to show that we want to speak.
4) The affect displays include gestures whose purpose is to project a certain emotion: be in fear, anger, happiness, sadness etc.
5) The Adaptors are the most misinterpreted and subtle category of kinesics.The role of such actions is to make us more comfortable, release excess energy. They adapt our body to a more comfortable state.
We have analyzed some stories by Rudyard Kipling. While reading Kipling's stories we found fifty collocations which show some gestures. So, in our study we tried to classify these collocations according to the types of kinesics and count the percentage of the most used types in R. Kipling's stories.
So, the examples of Emblems are:
Baloo snorted.
«Explain! Explain! Explain!» said the Head Chief of the Tribe of Tegumai, and he hopped on one foot.
Then Balkis beckoned that bold Queen without looking at her, and said to her and to the others, 'Come and see.'
Well, the example of Illustrators are
Mowgli slipped on to Rama's back.
«Don't kill me,» said Chuchundra, almost weeping.
«Tricked! Tricked! Tricked! Rikk-tck-tck!» chuckled Rikki-tikki-Tavi.
Then Wild Horse stamped with his wild foot and said.
Then he danced three times round the skin and rubbed his hands.
The following examples are of Affect displays
«Have no fear,» said Gray Brother, licking his lipsalittle.
«Ye-es,» he said, between his teeth.
«Out!» snapped Father Wolf.
And, finally Adaptors
Then the Elephant's Child grew all breathless, and panted, and kneeled down on the bank.
Then the Cat arched his back.
But Suleiman-bin-Daoud shook his head and said.
The posture and language of the body speak a lot about your attitude, mental status and character. The way you walk, sit and talk shows your mood. You may jump, run and turn around to express you mood. Body movements are accompanied by facial expressions which also reflect your mood. The more you study human behaviour and gestures, the better you understand yourself and other individuals. You can also improve your communication skills by learning body language and using the movements and signs correctly in different situations.
Having done this research we came to the following conclusions:
Different gestures have different meanings depending on cultures, people's mood and the situation.
Gestures are changing their meaning in the course of time.
The most used types of gestures in Kipling's tales are connected with the face because it was a good way to show characters' mood, temperament and feelings.
In Rudyard Kipling's stories the percentage of Affect displays and Illustrators as the types of kinesics is the highest (62%).


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