Using video-recordings from one day of a theater project for young adults, this paper investigates how the meaning of novel verbal expressions is interactionally constituted and elaborated over the interactional history of a series of activities. We examine how the theater director introduces and instructs the group in the Chekhovian technique of acting, which is based on “imagining with the body,” and how the imaginary elements of the technique are “brought into existence” in the language of the instructions. By tracking shifts in the instructor’s use of the key expressions invisible/imaginary/inner body or movement through a series of exercises, we demonstrate how they are increasingly treated as real and perceivable bodily conduct. The analyses focus on the instructor’s attribution of factual and agentive properties to these expressions, and the changes that these properties undergo over the series of instructions. This case demonstrates the significance of longitudinal processes for the establishment of shared meaning in social interaction. The study thereby contributes to the field of interactional semantics and to longitudinal studies of social interaction.
- 6121 Kielitieteet