How gestures contribute to the meanings of idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs in TV broadcast interviews. A multimodal analysis


This study aims at shedding light on the representation of some peculiar indicators of spokenness (i.e. idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs) across TV interviews featuring different interviewees: politicians, business people and personalities from showbiz. More precisely, the purpose of this work is to observe how, to what extent, and with which function these traits, which are more typical of oral and informal language, permeate TV interviews pertaining to different specialized knowledge domains. In order to develop a deeper understanding of the usage and the meaning-making of idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs in TV interviews, some multimodal aspects will be considered throughout the analysis. Drawing from the findings, it was noticed that these complex indicators of spoken style are abundant in the language of both interviewers and interviewees across all three domains, where they seem to work as lubricants that help smooth interaction and thus engage the audience. Furthermore, gestures with arms and hands appeared to occur together with idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs quite consistently, often pointing to their figurative meanings.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v29p383

Keywords: TV interviews; idiomatic expressions; phrasal verbs; multimodality; gestures


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