Semiotica 17:2, pp. 95*110. © Moutön Publishers, 1976. V.VÄVRA In Europe there exist two systems for the mimic expressions of assent and dissent: System A, which is used by the great majority of Europeans (Czechs, Russians, English, French, Germans, etc.) and System B, which is found predominantly in Bulgaria (and outside Europe, in Asia Minor, for instance, among Turks). Both systems include two kinetic forms, vertical nodding and horizontal turning of the head, which are, however, used to express content that is contradictory: System A (Czechs, Russians, English, French, Germans) ASSENT - nodding the head vertically DISSENT - turning the head horizontally System B (Bulgarians) ASSENT - turning the head horizontally DISSENT - nodding the head vertically Roman Jakobson (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973) has attempted to delineate these two systems more precisely by pointing out the different directions in which the head moves initially. He stresses, above all, that the vertical nodding of the head in System A always begins from up downward, while in System B, it begins from down upward, and shows these contradictory, initial movements of the head to be decisive. Only when the user of the A system registers an initial movement of the
Semiotica - Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1976
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