Journal article

Embodying kin-based respect in speech, sign, and gesture

Jennifer Green

Gesture | John Benjamins Publishing | Published : 2019


In Australian Indigenous societies the means for demonstrating kinship-based respect are rich and varied, and mastery of their ideological and contextual dimensions is highly valued and an indication of communicative expertise. Special speech registers, sometimes referred to as ‘mother-in-law’, ‘brother-in-law’, or ‘avoidance’ languages, are one aspect of this complexity. Another dimension of respect is afforded by Australian Indigenous sign languages, used in contexts where speech itself is disallowed as well as in everyday interactions where signing is practical and useful. What is lacking from the majority of accounts of these special semiotic repertoires is an investigation of the ways t..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by ARC (Australian Research Council) Fellowship

Awarded by ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL)

Funding Acknowledgements

This research has been supported by an ARC (Australian Research Council) Fellowship (DE160100873) and by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL) (CE140100041). I also acknowledge Batchelor Institute, and the Indigenous Languages and Arts program (Australian Government).