This study is devoted to the micro- and macro-structural facets of emotional expression in speech. Central aspects are the semiotic status of this phenomenon, the perspective from which its description is undertaken, the specific features of emotional meaning, and the potential scope for a methodologically scrupulous access to the whole problem. The main focus, however, is on the way this discursive practice manifests itself. The instruments used to achieve this are, on the one hand, a description of the potentially affective forms and structures of (spoken) French, and, on the other, an analysis of the functionality of emotional expression. The surface-oriented and interactive view of emotions is supported by a methodological approach geared to linguistic conversation analysis.