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Semiotic Modes in the Organization of Lectures in English and in Spanish

11 pagesPublished: February 23, 2017


This paper aims at describing from a multimodal discourse analysis perspective, the organizational metadiscourse elements (and previewing and reviewing instances in particular) employed in academic lectures in English and in Spanish in order to connect speech events and structure the discourse. We believe that a multimodal approach (Fortanet-Gómez & Ruiz-Madrid, 2014; Querol-Julián, 2010; Querol-Julián & Fortanet-Gómez, 2012) provides a deeper understanding of how meaning is conveyed not only through linguistic elements but also through non-verbal items like paralanguage and kinesics.
In order to carry out this study we selected two lectures in English from an African American Studies course which is part of Yale University’s collection of OpenCourseWare, and two lectures in Spanish from a Human Resources Studies course recorded at Universitat Jaume I. With the aim to describe possible recurrent patterns and relationships between verbal and non-verbal (paralinguistic and kinesic) elements, we will carry out a MDA in three phases: a linguistic transcription and identification of organizational metadiscourse using Ädel's (2006, 2010) model and taxonomy of metadiscourse for spoken academic English; a transcription of paralinguistic features (syllabic duration and loudness) and kinesic elements (hand-arm gestures); and an analysis of co-occurrences of modes to understand how meaning is conveyed.
The final objective of this study is twofold, i) to approach multimodal academic discourse from a contrastive perspective and ii) to use the results for EAP training courses for Spanish teachers and students, as it has been observed that verbal and non-verbal discourse needs awareness raising in order to facilitate transfer from mother tongue to another language.

Keyphrases: academic discourse, contrastive analysis, lectures, metadiscourse, multimodal discourse analysis

In: Chelo Vargas-Sierra (editor). Professional and Academic Discourse: an Interdisciplinary Perspective, vol 2, pages 224--234

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Edgar Bernad-Mech\textbackslash{}'o and Inmaculada Fortanet-G\textbackslash{}'omez},
  title     = {Semiotic Modes in the Organization of Lectures in English and in Spanish},
  booktitle = {Professional and Academic Discourse: an Interdisciplinary Perspective},
  editor    = {Chelo Vargas-Sierra},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Language and Linguistics},
  volume    = {2},
  pages     = {224--234},
  year      = {2017},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-5283},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/wt5s}}
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