The embodied modification of formulations: The quoting gesture (QG) in Israeli-Hebrew discourse

Leon Shor*, Michal Marmorstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The construction and contextualization of meaning in conversation is accomplished through various multi-modal resources. This paper focuses on the quoting gesture (QG) as an embodied resource mobilized for the modification of formulations in Israeli Hebrew conversational media talk. Drawing on interactional approaches to language and embodied action, we show that the QG is deployed (i) to demarcate an affiliated formulation as emanating from another speaker while (ii) indexing the current producer's distancing from particular aspects of meaning associated with the formulation. This generic function is particularized in different contextual environments in which the QG, in concert with verbal, vocal, and additional embodied resources, instantiates different forms and degrees of dissonance with respect to a selected formulation. The analysis proceeds from the more common situation in which the QG is synchronically-aligned with its affiliated formulation to pre-positioned and post-positioned instances of the QG, which serve to project a reserved endorsement of a formulation and repair participants’ alignment toward a previously produced formulation. The modification proposed by the QG orients both to the actional-rhetorical exigencies of the moment and to more enduring aspects of participants’ positioning vis-a-vis co-participants and audiences. Thus, the QG provides a method to calibrate and accommodate different attitudes towards a formulation and to overtly display participants’ accountability for their verbal selections.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)22-40
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Embodied action
  • Interactional semantics
  • Israeli Hebrew
  • Multi-modality
  • Quotation
  • Quotation marks


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