Publication details [#63024]

Blackledge, Adrian and Angela Creese. 2017. Translanguaging and the body. The International Journal of Multilingualism 14 (3) : 250–268.
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This paper reports communicative interactions with a focus on the body as a dimension of the semiotic repertoire. The research context is a four-year, multi-site linguistic ethnography which explores how people communicate in superdiverse cities in the UK. In the setting of a butcher’s stall in a city market the paper considers three interactions at a particular market stall between butchers and their customers. In the first, gesture is used as a resource by both an English butcher’s assistant and his customer. In the second, the paper explores the body as a resource in the semiotic repertoire of a Chinese butcher as he negotiates a faux haggling interaction with East European customers. In the third example, also recorded as field notes, a Chinese woman uses a ‘Chinese’ gesture to represent the number of pieces of offal she wishes to buy from an English butcher’s assistant. Each of the examples was recorded during an extended period of ethnographic field work in Birmingham Bull Ring market. Through detailed assay of these interactions, it is asserted that when people’s biographical and linguistic histories scarcely overlap, they translanguage via the deployment of wide-ranging semiotic repertoires.