Author: Leung, Tsz Shan Beatrice
Title: Multimodal analysis of gestures : a case study on delivery of legal speeches on courtroom
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2014
Subject: Modality (Linguistics)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of English
Pages: vii, 53 pages : illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: This study examines the integration of different semiotic resources in delivering legal speeches in court trials and to evaluate the effectiveness of gestures used in courtroom as a strategy. Four bodies of literature related to this research are reviewed. They are the functions and language of legal speeches, courtroom strategies, multimodal discourse analysis frameworks and multimodality in courtroom. This research is done as a qualitative study on two court cases. Excerpts from each of the two video clips are extracted and transcribed manually. The language of two legal speeches is examined ideationally by Hasan's transitivity system and interpersonally by Martin & White's appraisal theory, followed by an investigation into the integration of gestures. With ideational metafunction, information was delivered in the speeches by different transitivity processes, in which material process was the dominant process in both cases. With interpersonal metafunction, evaluation of things and appreciation of value have been found in both cases while little emotions and feelings were expressed in the first case in addition to evaluation and appreciation. In multimodality, similar gestures were used repeatedly in the first case whereas a variety of gestures were employed frequently simultaneously with the text in the second case. The two cases suggest that gestures' integration and interaction with legal speeches assist the performances of legal speech and it is a significant strategy in courtroom. With the integration of verbal and visual (or multimodal) communication, the possibility to win a case at court is higher. The findings of this paper may make contributions for research and education purposes.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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