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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"


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Academic Paper


Title: Gesture's Community: Social Organization in Multimodal Conduct
Author: Gregory M. Matoesian
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Department of Criminology, Law and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: This article analyzes the multimodal integration of gesture, talk, and sociocultural context. More specifically, I investigate how forms of Gemeinschaft/Gesellshaft community are embodied in the concrete details of multimodal form—in the iconic interplay of multimodal practice and symbolic forms of social organization. Using a focus group interview of community policing training, I show how criss-crossing laminations of participation emerge through novel gestural configurations like multimodal quotation and pragmatic beats to not only pace the rhythm of speech but simultaneously plot the spatial coordinates of social organization. In the course of events, we see how speakers integrate gesture, gaze, and postural orientation into the stream of their utterances to project rhythmically infused meanings of communal identity, social solidarity, and cultural opposition. (Multimodality, community, legal discourse)

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This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 41, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .



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