Multimodal conflict management in English fictional discourse

Author: Olha Chernenko

Keywords: conflict discourse, conflict resolution phase, multimodal discourse analysis, nonverbal conflict-management mode, verbal and nonverbal means of communication.


Modern linguistic studies encompass a wide range of approaches for explaining language in use through the set of different semiotic resources. Multimodal discourse analysis as an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of oral and written, literary and digital, verbal and nonverbal language use aims at revealing formal and functional characteristics of the language in relation to its social context, pragmatic intention as well as socio-psychological characteristics of a person. The phenomenon of multimodality, which combines several semiotic systems as special modes of communication helps to reveal the communicative and pragmatic value of verbal and nonverbal means of conflict settlement and resolution. This paper investigates the nonverbal means of communication in conflict discourse within the framework of pragmatic and multimodal studies and other characteristics to be assumed by discourse analysis in the light of these new social semiotic approaches to meaning and communication. Accordingly, the semantic, formal, and functional peculiarities of nonverbal conflict-management mode in the structural organization of conflict fictional discourse are revealed. Some pragmatic factors influencing the development of conflict communication by which nonverbal means of communication can be studied and classified are reviewed. The communicative value of nonverbal conflict-management mode in relation to verbal means of governing the conflict is analyzed. The obtained results indicate that analysis of the nonverbal means in conflict fiction discourse with a focus on multimodal studies enables to get a reliable picture of the role of nonverbal conflict-management mode in the actual and potential realization of communicative strategies which in correlation with its pragmatic potential and some sociolinguistic features contribute to the influence on the process of conflict management and resolution.