The use of gesture, gesture hold, and gaze in trouble-in-talk among multilingual interlocutors in an English as a lingua franca context

This study examines how multilingual interlocutors jointly work on trouble-in-talk—searching for words and formulating what to say—and advance this interactional work by incorporating gestures, gesture holds, and other embodied actions (e.g., gaze) in the context of English as a lingua franca (ELF). Employing a multimodal conversation analytic approach, we examine video-recorded interactions of one dyad at a dinner table at an international graduate student dormitory in the United States. We illustrate how gestures, gesture holds, and gaze in particular contribute to distributing the responsibility of working on interactional troubles and constructing intersubjectivity among these interlocutors. This study exemplifies how multimodal analysis can enrich ELF pragmatic research by exhibiting dimensions of multilingual interactions that are accomplished through embodied means, while interactional analysis of multilingual ELF contexts can broaden data sets and offer new insights to the field of conversation analysis (CA). More specifically, multimodal analysis of trouble-in-talk among multilinguals can contribute to CA because interactional practices like searching for what-to-say may be more robustly done among multilinguals than among monolinguals, due to the fact that they frequently encounter troubles that arise in negotiation of various interactional resources, including linguistic and cultural knowledge. Furthermore, multilingual, multicultural interactions like ELF can both (a) elucidate the dynamic negotiation process of epistemic stances of language and content and (b) illuminate the complex ways that the epistemic imbalances among interlocutors influence interactions.


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Work Title The use of gesture, gesture hold, and gaze in trouble-in-talk among multilingual interlocutors in an English as a lingua franca context
Open Access
  1. Yumi Matsumoto
  2. Suresh Canagarajah
  1. Gestures
  2. Word searches
  3. Searching for what-to-say
  4. Multimodal conversation analysis
  5. Epistemics
  6. English as a lingua franca
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Journal of Pragmatics
Publication Date October 12, 2020
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited July 24, 2022




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added The_use_of_gesture__gesture_hold__and_gaze_in_trouble-in-talk_among_multilingual_interlocutors_in_an_English_as_a_lingua_franca_context___2020.pdf
  • Added Creator Yumi Matsumoto
  • Added Creator Suresh Canagarajah
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publication Date Show Changes
    • Gestures, Word searches, Searching for what-to-say, Multimodal conversation analysis, Epistemics, English as a lingua franca
    Publication Date
    • 2020-11-01
    • 2020-10-12
  • Deleted The_use_of_gesture__gesture_hold__and_gaze_in_trouble-in-talk_among_multilingual_interlocutors_in_an_English_as_a_lingua_franca_context___2020.pdf
  • Added pragma draft2.pdf
  • Updated