Metadiscourse and Topic Introductions in an Academic Lecture: A Multimodal Insight
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TitleMetadiscourse and Topic Introductions in an Academic Lecture: A Multimodal Insight
This paper is part of a larger scale project where I explore the structure of academic lecture. The focus of the study here presented is to investigate the structure and organization of a university lecture through ... [+]
This paper is part of a larger scale project where I explore the structure of academic lecture. The focus of the study here presented is to investigate the structure and organization of a university lecture through the introduction of new topics. One of the tools traditionally referred to as an organizer of discourse is metadiscourse (Crismore et al. 1993. Metadiscourse in persuasive writing: A study of texts written by American and Finnish university students. Written Communication, 10:39–71; Vande Kopple. 1985. Some exploratory discourse on metadiscourse. College Composition and Communication, 36(1):82–93). Although metadiscourse has been studied from a wide range of perspectives (Hyland. 2005. Metadiscourse: exploring interaction in writing. London, England: Continuum), these analyses have most of the time been conducted from a purely linguistic point of view and neither the speaker as a social actor nor metadiscourse as part of a multimodal interaction are taken into account. That being so, the aim of this study is to explore the role played by introducing topic metadiscourse (Ädel. 2010. Just to give you kind of a map of where we are going: a taxonomy of metadiscourse in spoken and written academic English. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 9(2):69–97) from a multimodal perspective as it is being used within a lecture. In order to obtain a holistic account on how topics are introduced and the role of metadiscourse within the set of actions performed by the speaker in interaction, I make use of the tools provided by Multimodal (Inter)action Analysis (Norris. 2004. Analyzing multimodal interaction. A methodological framework. New York: Routledge; 2011. Indentity in (Inter)Action. Introducing multimodal interaction analysis. Göttingen: De Gruyter Mouton). The main analysis is carried out on two excerpts where new topics are being introduced which come from a lecture on African-American History belonging to Yale University’s opencourseware. Through the production of verbal and multimodal transcripts, this paper demonstrates how the lecturer structures the class before he verbally utters metadiscursive expressions and the minor significance that these instances play in the lecturer’s broad organization of the lecture, as metadiscourse is predominantly performed as a background task. [-]
Bibliographic citationBERNAD-MECHÓ, Edgar. Metadiscourse and Topic Introductions in an Academic Lecture: A Multimodal Insight. Multimodal Communication, 2017, vol. 6, no 1, p. 39-60.
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