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Full text of "Expression Of The Emotions In Man And Animals"

272

SIGHTS OF AFFIRMATION

CHAP. XI.

I

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pressed in many parts of the world "by merely shrugging
the shoulders, without turning inwards the elbows and
opening the hands. The man or child who is obstinate,
or one who is resigned to some great misfortune, has
in neither ease any idea of resistance by active means;
and he expresses this state of mind, by simply keeping
his shoulders raised; or lie may possibly fold his arms
across his breast.

/Signs of affirmation or approval, and of negation or
disapproval: nodding and shaking the head.I was
curicms to ascertain how far the common signs used by
us in affirmation and negation were general throughout
the world. These signs are indeed to a certain extent
expressive of our feelings, as we give a vertical nod of
approval with a smile to our children, when we approve
of their conduct; and shake our heads laterally with a
frown, when we disapprove. "With infants, the first act
of denial consists in refusing food; and I repeatedly
noticed with rny own infants, that they did so by with-
drawing their heads laterally from the "breast, or from
anything offered them in a spoon. In accepting food
and taking it into their mouths, they incline their heads
forwards. Since making these observations I have been
informed that the same idea had occurred to Charma.17
It deserves notice that in accepting or taking food, there
is only a single movement forward, and a single nod im-
plies an affirmation. On the other hand, in refusing
food, especially if it be pressed on them, children fre-
quently move their heads several times from side to side.,
as we do in shaking our heads in negation. Moreover,,
in the ease of refusal, the head is not rarely thrown back-
wards, or the mouth is closed, so that these movements

1T c Essai sur le Langage,' 2nd edit. 1846. I am much in-
debted to Miss Wedgwood for having given me this in-
formation, with an extract from the work.