Embodied meaning: a systemic functional perspective on paralanguage
This paper develops a framework for analysing paralanguage,initially inspired by systemic functional linguistic(hereafter SFL) research on early child language development. A distinction is drawn between nonsemiotic behaviour(somasis) and meaning(semiosis),and within semiosis between language and paralanguage(using the term paralanguage to refer to semiosis dependent on language and realised through both sound quality and body language,the latter including facial expression,gesture and posture). Within paralanguage a distinction is drawn between sonovergent resources in sync with or in tune with the prosodic phonology of spoken language,and semovergent resources supporting the ideational,interpersonal and textual meaning resources of spoken language's content plane. The paper closes with a brief discussion of the intermodal relations among language,paralanguage and other modalities of communication.