Wilcox will speak about signed languages, like American Sign Language, that were once considered only gestures and are now found to be fully developed languages. These types of languages have vocabularies and grammar unique to themselves.
He will also speak on two routes leading from gesture to language. The first involves everyday gestures becoming legitimate signs. The second involves incorporating the elements of gestures, such as facial expression, directly into the grammar of the language. He will present arguments for the significance of his findings based on what they reveal about the development of language.
The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, call Thierry Durand, associate professor of French at Linfield, at 503-883-2474.