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An Outline of a Yemeni Body Language (Taiz and Sanaa)

Vincent Battesti

An Outline of a Yemeni Body Language (Taiz and Sanaa)

- Original title:
Esquisse d’une communication gestuelle yéménite (Taez et Sanaa), Chroniques yéménites, Sanaa, Cefas, 2001, n°9, p. 204-223.
ISSN: 1248-0568
DOI: 10.4000/cy.117

- The web version (in French) offers some small videos of the gestures, in addition to the drawing illustrations.
[Go to read it online on

Drawing illustrations by Marie Deshayes.

ill. Marie Deshayes

Arabic gestures in Yemen.

- Abstract:
The gestures are the innocent and cruel part of the communication. To have recourse to the hands seems curiously the best of the stopgap measures when the language of its interlocutor is not mastered. People being part to different cultures do not only speak different language but - and it is the most important - live in different sensorial and perceptive worlds.

This paper wants to tackle the question of the body language, i.e. to tackle the vast field of the gestures intentionally expressed in the aim of communication: these expressions are conventional signs used with (or used to accentuate) a verbal communication or are self-significant without a verbal expression. This is only an introduction into the subject; it does not have the ambition to be a complete catalogue. Here, is produced a collection of data scrupulously (but not exhaustively) gathered in Yemen, mainly in Taez and Sanaa.

This study gives a first outline of the richness of Yemen gestures used in contexts of communication. More than 150 gestures are classified according to two methods of expression: to be in relation to somebody (To greet, be opposed, to promise, etc.) and to describe (a person, an object, etc).

- Download the article (French) in pdf.

Esquisse d’une communication gestuelle yéménite (Taez et Sanaa)
Chroniques yéménites, Sanaa, Cefas, 2001, n°9, pp 204-223, Vincent Battesti
Chroniques yéménites
ill. Marie Deshayes
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Dernière mise à jour de cette page le Wednesday 27 March 2019 à 12:05:53. //// -----> Citer cette page?
Vincent Battesti, "An Outline of a Yemeni Body Language (Taiz and Sanaa)" [en ligne], in anthropoasis, page publiée le 2001 [visitée le 23 September 2020], disponible sur:
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