Reporting Gesture and Voice in Reporting Speech: Co-verbal Language in Literature

Maria Paola Tenchini

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Abstract :
International audience
In this paper we will focus on the synergistic contribution of verbal and co-verbal language to communication within the framework of reported speech in literary narrative texts. The analysis is based on two famous novels by Sciascia. First we will highlight the double audio-visual structure of co-verbal language. Then we will review the different ways – different degrees of verbalization or transcription – in which one can report the vocal and kinesic behaviours which accompany speech in a written text. Finally, we will focus on the possible relations between co-verbal behaviour and meaning, evaluating which pragmatic and narrative functions result from the synergy between co-verbal language and propositional content in building up the meaning of an act of speech and of reported speech.
Dans cet article nous examinons la contribution synergique du langage verbal et du langage co-verbal à la communication entre le cadre du discours rapporté dans textes littéraires romanesques. Le point de départ de notre analyse sont deux romans de Leonardo Sciascia. Nous délinéons d’abord la double structure audio-visuelle du langage co-verbal. Ensuite nous examinons les différents moyens de traduction et de transmission écrite – verbalisation ou transcription – de la composante vocale, mimo-gestuelle ou proxémique de la communication. Enfin nous mettons au point les possibles relations entre le langage co-verbal et le sens en évaluant les fonctions pragmatiques et narratives qui résultent de la synergie entre langage co-verbal et contenu propositionnel pour la construction du sens d’un acte du discours et du discours rapporté.
Published : 2009-06-11
Document Type : Conference papers


Maria Paola Tenchini, « Reporting Gesture and Voice in Reporting Speech: Co-verbal Language in Literature », Cit-Dit, 2009-06-11. URL :