'I'll be the sun': From reported speech to semiotic remediation practices

Paul Prior, Julie Hengst, Kevin Roozen, Jody Shipka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Discussions of reported speech have increasingly attended to mode, both the mode of the utterance represented and the mode of delivery. In this article, we argue for a more expansive engagement with multimodality, a view already signaled in the theories of Goffman, Clark, Hanks, and Irvine. We first propose shifting the unit of analysis from linguistic or discourse representation to semiotic remediation practices, a notion that attends to the diverse ways that humans' and nonhumans' semiotic performances (historical and imagined) are re-represented and reused across modes, media, and chains of activity. We then turn to three examples - a family pretend game, a college composition course task, and a comedy skit - that illustrate how semiotic remediation operates in concretely situated and culturally mediated practices. We conclude by suggesting that this notion of semiotic remediation will assist a fuller understanding of reported speech as discourse practice, that dialogic views of reported speech may in turn contribute to explorations of multimodality, and that attention to semiotic remediation is central to understanding the work of communication and culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-766
Number of pages34
JournalText and Talk
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2006


  • Discourse practices
  • Mediated activity
  • Multimodality
  • Reported speech
  • Writing research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language


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