Early mentions of the nonverbal

Ritchie, Benbow F. 1956. Review of Theories of Perception and the Concept of Structure: A Review and Critical Analysis With an Introduction to a Dynamic-Structure Theory of Behavior by Floyd H. Allport. American Journal of Psychology 69: 498-501.

In the concluding three chapters, Allport considers "the unsolved problem of meaning" and develops his concept of "event-structure." The various philosophical issues that enter this discussion are so numerous and so difficult, that a brief and accurate report of his opinions is out of the question. Instead I have chosen to say what I think he means by "the unsolved problem of meaning" and to explain how he thinks the concept of "event-structure" will help to solve it.
The proper analysis of the relation between non-verbal signs and what they signify is the fundamental problem which Allport regards as unsolved, but, before we can see this problem clearly, several semiotical distinctions are essential. We must understand first that the term "meaning" refers to a particular kind of relation among three terms, a sign, an interpreter of the sign, and a significate of the sign. (Ritchie 1956: 498)
It is interesting that this great problem is the exact same problem that I am working on more than half a century later: the relationship between verbal and nonverbal codification/communication/behaviour. Although these "semiatical distinctions" (in this case most likely derived from the work of Charles Morris) have been known for a long time, they seem not to have solved this great problem.
The defining properties of the class (i.e. the significate) are given in the image aroused by the sign. Thus, the sign designates that class with members similar to the image. This treatment has the advantage of providing the kind of specificity of designation that the problem seems to require, but it has the disadvantage of introducing a mentalistic term ("image") as essential to the analysis. How can we determine the content of another's imagery, and what can we do with Kulpe's evidence of imageless thought? (Ritchie 1956: 499)
This author approaches the problem from the standpoint of logic, which I believe to be the uttermost invalid approach to non-verbal matters. There is very little that can be done with set theory in relation with body movements, emotions, attitudes, the immesureable vastness of context, etc. But I do appreciate the hint that "image" (which I met in reading G. H. Mead) is a mentalistic term.

Stouffer, Samuel A. 1930. Implication of this study for research on the theory of attitudes. In: An Experimental Comparison of Statistical and Case History Methods of Attitude Research. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Chicago, 49-64.

Professor Thurstone, in his discussions of attitude testing, has been explicit in disclaiming that the tests which he and his students have devised will measure every aspect of an attitude. The tests purport to use only one kind of indices, out of several possible kinds. They use the statements which a subject endorses. They do not use, directly at least, as indices overt non-verbal acts, for example. Professor Thurstone recognizes that a continuum of attitudes indicated by overt non-verbal acts might differ somewhat from a continuum of attitudes as indicated by endorsements of statements. These in turn might differ somewhat from a continuum of attitudes as indicated by feelings revealed subtly and indirectly by the tone in which statements are endorsed or by the spirit in which overt non-verbal acts are carried on. Professor Thurstone defines attitude as the "sum total of a man's inclinations and feelings, prejudice, or basic, preconceived notions, ideas, fears, threats, and convictions about any subset and assumes that that portion of the "sum total" which is tapped by the verbal indices represents a large and important enough portion to justify saying that the test measures attitudes in somewhat the same sense as a yardstick measures a table if it measures the length though ignoring the volume or weight. (Stouffer 1930: 53-55)
Just like Bakhtin's "material bodily images," here the reference to nonverbal behaviour is reinforced: not overt acts as indices and not non-verbal acts as indices, but overt non-verbal acts! It seems that at this early stage there was still some doubt about how nonverbal behaviour should be referred to. At least it is "overt non-verbal acts" instead of, for example, "overt expressive acts" or "overt bodily acts." It is also noteworthy that all three of Peirce's phenomenological interpretants are represented: verbal statements (logical), overt non-verbal acts (energetic) and "feelings revealed subtly and indirectly by the tone in which statements are endorsed" (emotional). Also, note that "the spirit in which overt non-verbal acts are carried on" bears some semblance to Mead's vague "conversation of attitudes." It makes perfect sense that nonverbal behaviour should appear in an early study of attitudes.
From what the writer gathered in talking with the judges after they made their ratings, they made little attempt to formulate a rigorous and technical definition. Apparently, they followed more or less the common-sense conception of attitude held by the layman, just as they would in a conversation with a friend with whom they discussed so-and-so's attitude toward prohibition. The concept of attitude, like the concept of love, or of religion, presumably varies even in Its common-sense usage (Stouffer 1930: 56)
The same could be said in relation with nonverbal communication: that it is neither wise nor useful to produce a rigorous and technical definition of nonverbal communication when a common-sense conception of body language may very well do the trick.

Cooley, Charles Horton 1909. The Growth of Communication. In: Social Organization: A Study of the Larger Mind. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 66-79.

THE chief means of what we may call pre-verbal communication are the expression of the face—especially of the mobile portions about the eyes and mouth—the pitch, inflection, and emotional tone of the voice; and the gestures of the head and limbs. All of these begin in involuntary movements but are capable of becoming voluntary, and all are eagerly practiced and interpreted by children long before they learn to speak. They are immediately joined to action and emotion: the inflections of the voice, for instance, play upon the child's feelings as directly as music, and are interpreted partly by an instinctive sensibility. I have heard a child seventeen months old using her voice so expressively, though inarticulately, that it sounded, a little way off, as if she were carrying on an animated conversation. And gesture, such as reaching out the hand, bending forward, turning away the head, and; the like, springs directly from the ideas and feelings it represents. (Cooley 1909: 66)
So Cooley preferred "pre-verbal" to "non-verbal." Otherwise this discussion seems verily informed by Darwin's Expressions.
The human face, "the shape and color of a mind and life," is a kind of epitome of society, and if one could only read all that is written in the countenances of men as they pass he might find a great deal of sociology in them. (Cooley 1909: 66)
Ah, a reflection of Cicero, for whom the face was "the window to the soul." Here, it is not soul, but mind and life... Very general. And, indeed, there is a great deal of sociology in nonverbalism.
All kinds of conventional communication are believed to be rooted in these primitive imitations, which, by a process not hard to imagine, extend and differentiate into gesture, speech, writing, and the special symbols of the arts and sciences; so that the whole exterior organization of thought refers back to these beginnings. (Cooley 1909: 67)
Very great importance ascribed to bodily behaviour: that every kind of externalization of the human mind is somehow, at the beginning, related to our bodies.
Even without words life may have been an active and continuous mental whole, not dependent for its unity upon mere heredity, but bound together by some conscious community in the simpler sorts of thought and feeling, and by the transmission and accumulation of these through tradition. (Cooley 1909: 68)
An objection to Saussure's belief that mind without language is "a vague uncharted nebula." Rather, the nebula of thought would have consisted of "simpler sorts of thought and feeling."
Many humble inventors contribute to its [language's] growth, every man, possibly, altering the heritage in proportion as he puts his individuality into his speech. Variations of idea are preserved in words or other symbols, and so stored up in a continuing whole, constantly growing in bulk and diversity, which is, as we have seen, nothing less than the outside or sensible embodiment of human thought, in which every particular mind lives and grows, drawing from it the material of its own life, and contributing to it whatever higher product it may make out of that material. (Cooley 1909: 68-69)
Yet another objection to Saussure: the individual can change language.
A word is a vehicle, a boat floating down from the past, laden with the thought of men we never saw; and in coming to understand it we enter not only into the minds of our contemporaries, but into the general mind of humanity continuous through time. [...] "This way," says the word, "is an interesting thought: come and find it." And so we are led on to rediscover old knowledge. (Cooley 1909: 69)
And now Cooley sounds a bit lotmanian, if only because the bold expression is similar to "the universe of the mind." And the "guiding to ideas" function of words is exactly the reason why I love complex (obscure and abstruse) terms - they ma lead to complex ideas.
Nor must we forget that this state of things reacted upon the natural capacities of man, perhaps by the direct inheritance of acquired social habits and aptitudes, certainly by the survival of those who, having these, were more fitted than others to thrive in a social life. In this way man, if he was human when speech began to be used, rapidly became more so, and went on accumulating a social heritage. (Cooley 1909: 71)
And now I perceive Bourdieu in this passage - that "a social heritage" is habitus, though the function of habitus is not only to survive but to live better than another.
It is the social function of writing, by giving ideas a lasting record, to make possible a more certain, continuous and diversified growth of the human mind. It does for the race very much what it does for the individual. When the student has a good thought he writes it down, so that it may be recalled at will and made the starting point for a better thought in the same direction; and so mankind at large records and cherishes its insights. (Cooley 1909: 72)
This argument could be used in discussing the development of body language in the last century: the video camera has made possible the creation of lasting records of bodily behaviour.
"In study we hold converse with the wise, in action usually with the foolish" (Cooley 1909: 76)
Ouch. I wholeheartedly agree with the first part, but feel unjustice in the second. The quote comes from Bacon's "Antitheta on Studies."
A subtler function of the non-verbal arts is to communicate matter that could not go by any other road, especially certain sorts of sentiment which are thus perpetuated and diffused. (Cooley 1909: 77-78)
Cooley recognizes the function of "the non-verbal arts" as a means of conveying that which cannot be expressed in words. Here, he mentions only "sentiments" but there is much more: the human form in sculpture and painting, human movement in video, human sound (music) in audio, etc.
One of the simplest and most fruitful examples of this is the depiction of human forms and faces which embody! as if by living presence, the nobler feelings and aspirations of the time. Such works, in painting or sculpture, rest main as symbols by the aid of which like sentiments grow up in the minds of whomsoever become familiar with them (Cooley 1909: 78)

Kulp, Daniel H., II. 1935. Concepts in Attitude Tests With Special Reference to Social Questions. Sociology and Social Research 19: 218-224.

An attitude is a behavior tendency with reference to a value. It may be expressed in verbal symbols or through nonverbal overt behavior. (Kulp 1935: 219)
What changed in 5 years? "Overt non-verbal acts" became "nonverbal overt behavior." Not only did the order of the words change, but "acts" became "behavior" and the hyphen in "non(-)verbal" was gotten rid of. Can we deduce that in this short time the term became so well-known that hyphen was no longer needed? Yet this same author is inconsistent with his hyphens, listing "inter-national" next to "interracial."
A belief is a verbal expression of one's highly personalized affective behaviors with reference to environmental qualities. There is more of an emotional than an intellectual content. It takes form with reference to idealistic norms. (Kulp 1935: 219)
This definition may become useful in other contexts (namely when discussing religion). It is interesting that there is mention of "affective behavior" - somewhat more active designation than "emotional states" which is common today. Also, this phraseology could be used for defining concursivity: "Concourse is a verbal expression of bodily behaviours."
A fact statement is a record of data based upon actual and verifiable information. (Kulp 1935: 219)
Also an interesting definition. Mostly because of how the word "fact" is misused so often - one could object to the misuse of this word with a well-known exclamation: "Where is it written?" ["Kus see kirjas on?"], because a fact needs to be on record.

Young, Kimball 1930. Language and Social Interaction. In: Social Psychology: An Analysis of Social Behavior. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 203-232.

A gesture is defined as "a motion of the body [a title], head, or limbs, especially a movement or action of the hands or face, expressive of some idea or emotion or illustrative of some utterance." For our purposes we include in gesture the vocal responses as well. A grunt, a sigh, a shout constitute gestures just as much as do movements of the facial muscles or the hands. All of these various types of gestures may be thought of as indicating an action to come. In other words, a gesture bespeaks or denotes an oncoming act. In this sense it assumes the characteristic of an attitude. As Mead puts it, a gesture is "a truncated act." In the evolution of social intercourse the gesture has played an enormously important rôle. Thus the cry of warning of the frightened animal or bird gives a clue to others of its species of incipient danger. So, too, the love-calls of the moose or the bird are indicative of mating acts to follow. (Young 1930: 205)
I have an incling that "vocal responses" was included in the category of gestures because Trager had not yet coined "paralanguage.".
Incredulous or critical doubt adds also a protruding or pursing of the lips. (Young 1930: 208)
Neat. I read in some popular body-language book that the gum-grinding lip-gesture is merely "bad" with no elaboration. Incredulity ("The state of being unwilling or unable to believe something.") and doubt are more specific.
Raised brows and a wide direct gaze after speaking serve as a facial interrogation point, and demand an answer. (Young 1930: 208)
Haha, #eyebrows
While among animals the expression of feelings and emotions in the presence of situations, material or social, may and does serve as a stimulus for other forms of like species, in man these incipient, truncated, oncoming responses come to have relationships to concepts, and to carry with them definite intention to alter the behavior of the other person who sees or hears the gesture. (Young 1930: 209)
Thus one could "stereotypically" state that "gesture is a form/means of social control."
The heart of language is not "expression" of something antecedent, much less expression of antecedent thought. It is communication; the establishment of coöperation in an activity in which there are partners, and in which the activity of each is modified and regulated by partnership. To fail to understand is to fail to come into agreement in action; to misunderstand is to set up action at cross purposes . . . . (Young 1930: 210)
Something to this effect is stated often by modern writers: that communication is not merely a means of expression, but a form of social action (that something pre-made is not transmitted, but something new is created).

Rice, Stuart A. 1930. Statistical Studies of Social Attitudes and Public Opinion. In: Rice, Stuart A. (ed.), Statistics in Social Studies. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 171-192.

Statements of opinion, however, are to be regarded as but one among various forms of expression of attitude. Non-verbal, or more accurately, non-propositional expressions may likewise be susceptible of classification, and hence permit of counting and statistical analysis. Again, we may classify attitude studies according to the degree of control which the investigator is able to exercise. We thus have at least four types of actual or possible attitude studies which might receive attention in the present survey. Thurstone's studies are of the controlled verbal or propositional type. The studies of "social distance" inaugurated by E. S. Bogardus, and the study by Donald Young of the effects of classroom instruction in changing student attitudes with respect to race differences, might possibly be cited here as illustrations of controlled but non-propositional studies. Others, more definitely of this type, may easily be conceived. The late lamented silent drama, for instance, presented many situations in which the attitudes of an audience were tested and might have be engauged by such indexes as the sound volume of applause or the ratio of disgusted patrons walking out on the show. (Rice 1930: X)
Another point for my personal aversion to propositional logic: nonverbal communication is "nonpropositional"! Also, the study of "social distance"as a measurement of attitude is exactly what Mehrabian performed three decades later; not only is he a boring read, but unoriginal as well.

Bain, Read 1930. Theory and Measurement of Attitudes and Opinions. Psychological Bulletin 27: 357-379.

One of the most important (and confused) subjects in the interlocking and overlapping fields of sociology and social psychology is the category of motivation. It is apparent that human movements are possible only when appropriate action-patterns exist and that these patterns must be either inherited or acquired. It is also apparent that the functioning of both human and non-human animals is largely motivated by action-patterns that seem to be products of germinal development. These patterns are present at birth or soon after, relatively stable and unmodifiable, common to the species, usually adaptive and largely unlearned. If they are relatively simple, like grasping, knee-jerking, winking, they are "reflexes"; if they are more complex like crying, suckling-swallowing, assimilating-excreting, manipulating, they are "instincts." Just how complex such responses must be to be "instincts" is undetermined and perhaps indeterminable. The safest procedure, probably, is to call them instinctive, innate, native, germinal, and let it go at that. (Bain 1930: 357)
Made me think of the behavioural sphere. That is, action-patterns exist (in a virtual "space of behaviour") before individual actors.


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