Prosody and gestures form an intricate part of any human communication. Their contribution to the construction of meaning as well as the contextualisation of utterances have been widely acknowledged. Reported speech constitutes a special case of discourse in that a speaker only relays the words of a different speaker and is not their source. On the basis of a video corpus, this book investigates whether speakers signal this shift on a prosodic or kinesic level, therewith contextualising the reported passage within the discourse on the whole. The question will be pursued whether, since the words proper belong to a different original speaker, the prosodic and gestural constellation are also relayed from the original speaker or whether these non-verbal signals must be attributed to the reporting speaker. Furthermore the long-standing argument on the verbatimness of reported passages will be taken up and investigated whether non-verbal cues indicate whether a quotation is intended as a truthful account or whether it serves a different function. The results of this study reveal a highly interesting interplay of the two non-verbal channels and their relation to the verbal message and show that speakers employ prosody and gestures deliberately to signal the function of a quotation within a discourse.

Frank Lorenz
Prosody and Gestures as Contextualisation Devices in Reported Speech
ISBN 978-3-86573-300-9
145 S. 22,90 EUR. 2007 (Diss.)

Inhaltsverzeichnis (PDF)