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Auteur: Maíra Avelar MIRANDA

Multimodal metaphors in speech and gestures: an analysis of political debates

Abstract/Résumé: In this work, we aim at analyzing the emergence of multimodal metaphors in online face-to-face interactions, taking into consideration three modalities: the verbal, the prosodic and the gestural ones. Our hypothesis is that the more entrenched the metaphoric expression is in our conceptual system, the easier is to recognize such an expression as a literal one. On the other hand, the less entrenched the expression is in our conceptual system, the easier is to recognize it as a metaphoric expression. In order to demonstrate the emergence of the metaphors in the three modalities quoted above, as well as the relation among them, we have selected scenes from four samples of a second tour Brazilian presidential debate, broadcasted by Record, a Brazilian TV channel. Based on the theoretical assumptions about the embodied mind (Johnson 1981), we have chosen the following key concepts to guide our analyses: multimodal metaphoricity in speech and gesture compounds (Cienki & Müller 2009), prosody as a body-based feature (Auchlin 2013; Perlman 2010), compression and turn packing (Fauconnier & Turner 2002; Hougaard 2008), intentionality (Grice 1979) and perlocutionary effects (Searle 1984). Taking all these categories into consideration, we intend to perform a comparative analysis of the performance of the two candidates that participated in the debate. The results demonstrate that the more conventionalized the metaphors are, the more difficult is to recognize their metaphoric nature. On the other hand, the more intentional the metaphors are, more easy is to recognize their metaphoric nature, and more gestural and prosodic resources are used for driving the attention of the listener to what is being said or depicted. Furthermore, when perlocutionary effects are more prominent, the use of prosodic and gestural resources increases. After performing all the analyses, we hope to demonstrate how the verbal, prosodic and gestural features can interact to generate multimodal metaphors that can be more or less intentional, depending on the contextual environment of their emergence. Keywords: Multimodal metaphors; metaphoricity; online interactions