Gesti co-verbali e immagini mentali: i confini dell’intenzione comunicativa

Emanuela Campisi, Marco Mazzone


Riassunto: Le immagini mentali sono parte delle intenzioni comunicative veicolate negli scambi verbali, e dunque del significato inteso dal parlante (Grice)? Questioni simili sono state dibattute con riferimento al paradigma dell’embodiment. Qui intendiamo muoverci su un terreno differente: il dominio dei gesti, con particolare riferimento a quelli rappresentativi, caratterizzati dallo stretto rapporto con le rappresentazioni senso-motorie delle azioni. La linea argomentativa sarà dunque bipartita. Innanzitutto, intendiamo mostrare che i gesti contribuiscono a determinare l’intenzione comunicativa, come è evidente in casi nei quali il parlante si impegna in modo manifesto a renderli salienti – ma qui sarà anche importante l’osservazione che l’intenzione comunicativa non va identificata con una preliminare pianificazione cosciente. In secondo luogo, argomenteremo che il contributo dei gesti all’intenzione comunicativa è genuinamente imagistic, non proposizionale. In particolare, esamineremo due argomenti solitamente presentati come a favore dell’ipotesi proposizionale: che le immagini non possono essere parte dell’intenzione comunicativa, rispettivamente, perché non portano un contenuto giudicabile in termini di vero/falso, e perché non consentono di effettuare inferenze. Vedremo che entrambe le argomentazioni sono discutibili.

Parole chiave: Intenzione comunicativa; Gesti rappresentativi; Imagery; Significato del parlante


Co-verbal Gestures and Mental Images: The Borders of Communicative Intentions

Abstract: Do mental images form part of a speaker’s communicative intention? This and similar questions have usually been addressed within the framework of embodied cognition. Here, instead, we want to address the question from a different point of view, examining representational gestures, which are characterised by their strong relationship to sensory-motor representations. For this reason, our argument takes two directions. First, we show that representational gestures can form part of a speaker’s communicative intention as, for example, when the speaker overtly makes them salient. However, it is important to point out that being part of a communicative intention is not equivalent to being consciously planned. Secondly, we will argue that the meaning carried by gestures is actually imagistic, and not propositional. To this end, we provide a detailed discussion of two arguments favouring the propositional hypothesis: that images cannot be part of the speaker’s communicative intention because their content is not truth-conditional and because they do not allow us to make inferences. We will show that both these arguments are debatable.

Keywords: Communicative Intentions; Representational Gestures; Imagery; Speaker’s Meaning

Parole chiave

Intenzione comunicativa; Gesti rappresentativi; Imagery; Significato del parlante

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