LINGUIST List 27.3065

Tue Jul 26 2016

Confs: Pragmatics/Ireland

Editor for this issue: Kenneth Steimel <>

Date: 25-Jul-2016
From: Xiaoting Li <>
Subject: Multimodality and Diversity in Chinese Interaction
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Multimodality and Diversity in Chinese Interaction

Date: 16-Jul-2017 - 21-Jul-2017
Location: Belfast, Ireland
Contact: Xiaoting Li
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Meeting Description:

Multimodality and Diversity in Chinese Interaction is a panel at the 15th International Pragmatics Conference.

Panel organizers:

Xiaoting Li (University of Alberta)
Wei Zhang (City University of Hong Kong)

Fueled by the advent of the video technology in research, issues of multimodality and embodied interaction have found recent attention in linguistic research informed by conversation analysis and interactional linguistics. Interaction-oriented approaches have enriched linguistics not only with regard to data and methods, but also in view of concepts and theoretical understandings. However, most of the research on multimodality in interaction has been based on Indo-European languages. Research on multimodality in Chinese interaction is still relatively scarce (see Li, 2014). Previous work on Chinese spoken discourse has mainly focused on lexico-syntactic constructions and their function in Chinese conversation (e.g., Zhang & Fang, 1998; Wu, 2004, 2005; Luke, 2000, 2005, 2012). Li (2013, 2014) explores the role of lexico-syntax, prosody, bodily movements and their interaction in turn organization in Chinese face-to-face conversation, and shows that resources of different modalities are relevant to the construction of Chinese interaction.

Further, Chinese is a language with great internal diversity. It is commonly accepted that Chinese has seven mutually unintelligible varieties including Mandarin, Cantonese, Min, Wu, Xiang, Gan, and Hakka. The linguistic structure of each variety may provide affordances for different methods of constructing interaction. Within the study of Chinese interaction, the research has been predominantly on the standard variety, Mandarin. We know next to nothing about how speakers of other Chinese dialects use multimodal resources to construct social action in interaction.

This panel brings together research from conversation analysis, interactional linguistics, gesture studies, and multimodal analysis to explore the function of multimodal resources in forming situated activities in interaction conducted in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects. Papers in the panel aim to analyze how interactants use linguistic resources (lexico-syntax, prosody, etc.) situated in a larger semiotic context in interdependence with visual signals, such as e.g. gaze, gestures, and body posture in constructing talk and action in the diverse Chinese (dialects) interaction.

Specifically, this panel intends to discuss the following questions:

- What are the multimodal resources that are related to the construction of interaction in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects?
- What is the role of each type of multimodal resource (lexico-syntax, phonetics/prosody, gaze, gesture, posture, action, etc.) in interaction in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects?
- How do the resources of different modalities interact (i.e., mutually elaborate or play off each other) in constructing turns, actions, and activities in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects?

For further queries, please contact Xiaoting Li ( or Wei Zhang (

Conference website:

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