Struck by speech revisited: Embodied stance in jurisdictional discourse

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Abstract:

This paper illustrates how stance functions as a semiotic resource that feeds into and mediates institutional context. I consider stance not only as linguistic expression but as interactive, bodily engagement, synchronized in multimodal layers of participation. Using data from a focus group interview, I examine how stance emerges in the collaborative rhythms of linguistic, paralinguistic and, most prominently, embodied conduct between speaker and listener to index socio‐cultural knowledge about the jurisdictional division of labor among legal professionals. Drawing on Charles Frake's classic ‘Struck by speech,’ I illustrate not only how a speaker strikes his listener with speech, but also how the body of the listener displays being struck.

Keywords: Stance; focus groups; legal discourse; multimodal discourse

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-6441.2005.00289.x

Affiliations: University of Illinois at Chicago

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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