Introducing a conference paper: getting interpersonal with your audience

Publisher:
Elsevier
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 2005, 4 (4), pp. 291 - 306
Issue Date:
2005-01
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One of the key means by which knowledge is disseminated in the academic discourse community is the spoken presentation of papers at an academic conference. In contrast to the written research article, the spoken presentation remains relatively under-researched from a linguistic perspective, limiting the knowledge available for explicating this kind of discourse in academic language programs. In this paper, we draw on a social semiotic theory of language (Systemic Functional Linguistics) and of gesture, to frame a multi-layered exploration of interpersonal meaning in this register that incorporates attention to generic staging, to expressions of attitude, and to the co-expression of attitudinal language and gesture. The data are a set of plenary presentations at an academic conference, and the study aims to explore means by which the speakers construe a relationship of solidarity with their audiences in the introductory or 'set-up' stage of their talk.
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