Publication details [#59420]

Mondada, Lorenza. 2014. Bodies in action: Multimodal analysis of walking and talking. Language and Dialogue 4 (3) : 357–403.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Studies of gesture and language, multimodality, and embodied talk constitute a blooming domain that revisits our conceptions of language as well as of human action. However, research until now has focused on the upper part of the body — mainly on gesture, gaze, head movements and facial expressions. This paper contributes to and expands this line of research by looking at the lower part of the body — in practices of walking and talking — and by demonstrating how the entire body is crucially involved in the organisation of social interaction. Adopting a conversation analytic perspective, the paper is based on video recordings of people talking and walking in a garden. The study shows how the entire body moves in significant and systematic ways, within complex multimodal Gestalts. In particular it shows how walking both reflexively shapes and is shaped by emergent turn formatting, ongoing sequence organization and the dynamic organization of participant frameworks.