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Stability and visibility in embodied action: The 'palm up' in interaction

Clift, Rebecca (2020) 'Stability and visibility in embodied action: The 'palm up' in interaction.' Journal of Pragmatics, 169. pp. 190-205. ISSN 0378-2166

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Abstract

This paper identifies hitherto unidentified aspects of the relationship between language and bodily behaviour by examining the production of a recognisable embodied practice in interaction – the ‘palm up’ (PU), by which the palms of the hands are turned in parallel to face towards the recipient. Two features turn out to be central to understanding both this practice and, by extension, embodied action in interaction generally. The first is the ‘held’ element, iconically indicating disruption to the progressivity of the interaction. The second is the production of the PU at particular positions in sequences of talk. Using multi-modal Conversation Analysis to examine two contexts in English – pursuits and challenges – reveals that it is analytically insufficient to focus on solely the embodied action and its affiliated utterance without considering its wider sequential context. Rather, any account of embodied action should in the first instance investigate its temporal and sequential production to identify its pragmatic function in interaction.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Challenge Pursuit
Uncontrolled Keywords: Embodied action; Multimodality; Interaction; Conversation analysis
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2020 11:58
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:18
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28711

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