LINGUIST List 32.1445

Fri Apr 23 2021

Books: Multimodal Conduct in the Law: Matoesian, Gilbert

Editor for this issue: Billy Dickson <>

Date: 12-Apr-2021
From: Rachel Tonkin <>
Subject: Multimodal Conduct in the Law: Matoesian, Gilbert
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Title: Multimodal Conduct in the Law
Subtitle: Language, Gesture and Materiality in Legal Interaction
Series Title: Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics 32
Published: 2021
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Gregory Matoesian
Author: Kristin Enola Gilbert
Paperback: ISBN: 9781108402866 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 33.99
Paperback: ISBN: 9781108402866 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 25.99
Paperback: ISBN: 9781108402866 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 30.33

The study of language and law has seen explosive growth in the past twenty-five years. Research on police interrogations, trial examination, jury deliberation, plea bargains, same sex marriage, to name a few, has shown the central role of written and oral forms of language in the construction of legal meaning. However, there is another side of language that has rarely been analyzed in legal settings: the role of gesture and how it integrates with language in the law. This is the first book-length investigation of language and multimodal conduct in the law. Using audio-video tapes from a famous rape trial, Matoesian and Gilbert examine legal identity and impression management in the sociocultural performance of precedent, expert testimony, closing argument, exhibits, reported speech and trial examination. Drawing on insights from Jakobson and Silverstein, the authors show how the poetic function inheres not only in language but multimodal conduct generally. Their analysis opens up new empirical territory for both forensic linguistics and gesture studies.

Acknowledgements; List of transcription conventions; Introduction; 1. Multimodal conduct: what is it?; 2. Co-constructing expert identity; 3. The transformation of evidence into precedent; 4. Negotiating intertextuality; 5. Motives and accusations; 6. Nailing down an answer; 7. Exhibits, tapes, and inconsistency; 8. Material mediated gestures; 9. Rhythmic gestures and semanticity; 10. Conclusion; References; Index.

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 23-Apr-2021