Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 127-141

First online:

Gestures and conceptual integration in mathematical talk

  • Laurie D. EdwardsAffiliated withSaint Mary’s College of California Email author 

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Spontaneous gesture produced in conjunction with speech is considered as both a source of data about mathematical thinking, and as an integral modality in communication and cognition. The analysis draws on a corpus of more than 200 gestures collected during 3 h of interviews with prospective elementary school teachers on the topic of fractions. The analysis examines how gestures express meaning, utilizing the framework of cognitive linguistics to argue that gestures are both composed of, and provide inputs to, conceptual blends for mathematical ideas, and a standard typology drawn from gesture studies is extended to address the function of gestures within mathematics more appropriately.


Conceptual blends Discourse Embodiment Fractions Gesture Metaphor