The embodied modification of formulations: The quoting gesture (QG) in Israeli-Hebrew discourse

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The construction and contextualization of meaning in conversation is accomplished through various multi-modal resources. This paper focuses on the quoting gesture (QG) as an embodied resource mobilized for the modification of formulations in Israeli Hebrew conversational media talk. Drawing on interactional approaches to language and embodied action, we show that the QG is deployed (i) to demarcate an affiliated formulation as emanating from another speaker while (ii) indexing the current producer's distancing from particular aspects of meaning associated with the formulation. This generic function is particularized in different contextual environments in which the QG, in concert with verbal, vocal, and additional embodied resources, instantiates different forms and degrees of dissonance with respect to a selected formulation. The analysis proceeds from the more common situation in which the QG is synchronically-aligned with its affiliated formulation to pre-positioned and post-positioned instances of the QG, which serve to project a reserved endorsement of a formulation and repair participants’ alignment toward a previously produced formulation. The modification proposed by the QG orients both to the actional-rhetorical exigencies of the moment and to more enduring aspects of participants’ positioning vis-a-vis co-participants and audiences. Thus, the QG provides a method to calibrate and accommodate different attitudes towards a formulation and to overtly display participants’ accountability for their verbal selections.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)22-40
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Embodied action
  • Interactional semantics
  • Israeli Hebrew
  • Multi-modality
  • Quotation
  • Quotation marks

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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