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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language
- Artificial Intelligence