The analysis of co-verbal gestures in map-task activities is particularly interesting for several reasons: on the one hand, the speaker is engaged in a collaborative task with an interlocutor; on the other hand, the task itself is designed in order to place a cognitive demand on both the speaker and the receiver, who are not visible to one another. The cognitive effort in question implies the activation of different capabilities, such as self-orientation in space, planning (which can also be considered a self-orientation task concerning the capability of organising successful communicative strategies for the solution of a given problem), and communication in “unnatural” conditions. The co-verbal gestures performed during such a task are quantitatively and qualitatively different from those performed in normal conditions, and can provide information about the Speaker's Mind. In particular, the recursive pattern of some metaphors can be interpreted as a reliable index of the communicative strategy adopted by the speaker: the case of the “palm-down flap” will be here analysed.
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