Keevallik was invited to give a plenary lecture on embodied syntax at LANSI, January 15 2021.
Syntax and multimodality in pedagogical practice
It is widely accepted that in order to communicate intellectual information people use language in both spoken and written form. When it comes to teaching bodily skills, however, a combination of linguistic expression and embodied emulation is needed. Experts both explain and demonstrate for novices. In this talk, I will explore pedagogical practices that appear to balance between teaching abstract mental knowledge and concrete bodily experience, resulting in the teachers’ use of multimodal structures involving both snippets of syntax and embodied demonstrations. I will also argue that various non-lexical vocalizations constitute a specific pedagogical solution to the problem of conveying bodily experiences between individuals. The data come from dance and pilates classes, as well as occasions when parents feed their infants solid foods for the very first time