The Analysis of Gestures in Human Communication

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Language, Communication Pages: 8 (2886 words) Published: September 30, 2012

Dwitania Kemala
English Language and Literature B

English Education Department
Faculty of Language and Arts Education
Indonesia University of Education


This paper presents the way people communicate using nonverbal language, especially gestures. The method that applied to gain the data is library research by reading and collecting relevant data related to the topic from various sources. It also used descriptive method to give the explanation of the topic. This paper examines kinds of gesture which usually used, the cultures that affect its meaning and the influence of gender toward women’s and men’s gesture in communication.

Keywords: nonverbal language, gesture, body language, artifactual, proxemics, paralinguistic, olfaction, tactile, kinesics, iconic gesture, and metaphoric gesture.


People always do communicate with others in daily life. In doing communication, people have some purposes such as to get what they need and to share their ideas. Language cannot be separated in the process of communication since language is a medium used by the people to do this process. People use language to share what they have in their mind, to transfer information, to express their feeling or emotions and to get what they need. Language is a people’s communication system in which they use sound, words and symbols to share their message, feelings and ideas to another. It also can be in forms of oral language, written language and body language (retrieved from In transferring the message or in sharing people’s feeling, they involve two sorts of language forms those are verbal language and nonverbal language. People who use nonverbal language do not mean that they are not able to speak. Nevertheless, verbal language has fulfilled the whole message that is transferred but nonverbal language often used by them, in which one of nonverbal language that often used is gesture. Although many researches revealed that gesture developed before the development of human speech but it cannot be said that gesture is a primitive language; however, though language has developed in today communication, people unconsciously or consciously sill use their gesture in their communication or interaction. Stainberg (1993) said that gesture particularly express wide range of emotions. For instance, when someone is happy, she usually show happiness by smiling or when she is angry, she frown her eyebrows. For people who are more expressive, they usually use many gestures while they are talking and when they want to show their feeling. This paper is a study of psycholinguistics of nonverbal language, especially gesture. It describes the way people show their feeling or emotion and ideas in certain situations. Besides, the use of gesture is as important as verbal language or speaking. In sharing information people usually express their true feeling do not through verbal language but through their body movements or gestures because gesture is natural. Study about gesture also is important because by studying this it show the people’s interests toward something. Besides, it also has different functions to verbal language in general. In addition, this paper is created to seek the information about he connection between culture and gesture; and also find the distinction between the connection between gender and gesture, Thus, study about gesture make special insight in studying the way people share their feeling and ideas through their part of body and also the way girls and boys use gesture.


1. What kind of gestures usually used by people to show their feeling and ideas? 2. What are the functions of those gestures?
3. Does cultural difference influence people’s gesture?
4. Does gender influence people’s gesture in showing their feeling or...
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