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Conversation analysis and interactional linguistics

Conversation analysis is an interdisciplinary research tradition that studies language and social interaction from various perspectives, e.g., sociological, anthropological, linguistic, and pedagogical.

Two women having a conversation in snowy weather

Photo: Daniella K/Unsplash.com

About the group

The group brings together researchers who are interested in human social interaction and language, and it studies the detailed ways in which people construct their everyday social world in and through interaction.

The cornerstone for the conversation analytic method is audio and video recordings of naturally occurring interactions. Interactional linguistics is a branch in linguistics that uses conversation analytic methods for linguistic research. It studies the structure and organisation of language as used in interaction and the emergence of linguistic structure in interaction.

The members of the group study everyday informal interaction as well as institutional interaction. Everyday face-to-face interaction is the primary form of interaction that lays grounds for the more specialized forms of interaction in various institutions where the participants typically orient to specific institutional goals and identities. Conversation analytic perspective thus provides an understanding of institutional practices, roles and relationships as a process.  

Objectives

Conversation analysis and interactional linguistics are relatively new fields of research in Norway. The aim of the research group is to gain new knowledge on the social organisation of the Norwegian life, and on the Norwegian language-in-interaction. This knowledge will become part of the cumulative body of research on interaction in languages other than English.

Research themes

Although the Norwegian language is the main focus of the group, the members of the group also study other languages as well as multilingual interactions. This provides an opportunity for various types of comparative settings.

Some of the themes that the members of the group are currently working on include:

  • Pragmatic particles in Norwegian, Finnish, and Polish requests 
  • The social and linguistic construal of agency in Norwegian and in Finnish interactions 
  • Interaction with persons with aphasia or dementia
  • Understanding strategies in interactions with second language speakers
  • Video-mediated interpretation
  • Communication of rights in police interviews  

Activities

  • Data sessions
  • A reading group for discussing classic and modern texts on selected themes
  • Work-in-progress seminars
  • Guest lectures and workshops

Schedule for the upcoming meetings is announced at the beginning of each term. We warmly welcome other researchers and students working on interactional data to join our meetings!

Projects

Database on Norwegian everyday interaction is a cumulative data-collecting project in collaboration with the Text Laboratory. The result will be a searchable database of video and audio recorded Norwegian face-to-face and telephone interactions, and transcriptions of them.

Cooperation

The members of the research group collaborate with researchers from other universities both nationally and internationally. NIA (Nettverk for interaksjonsanalyse, Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge) is a central collaboration partner.

Courses

The University of Oslo is one of the rare places in Norway that offers specialisation courses in conversation analysis (see RETKOM2102 – Samtaleanalyse, RETKOM412: Samtaleanalyse 1 and RETKOM4125: Samtaleanalyse 2). The students become familiar with interactional approaches to language also in some other courses in Scandinavian Studies (e.g., NOAS2102: Andrespråkslæring og andrespråksundervisning).

Resources

No Ta-Oslo (The Text Laboratory, ILN)

The BigBrother Corpus (The Text Laboratory, ILN)

Published Mar. 14, 2019 1:43 PM - Last modified Mar. 14, 2019 1:43 PM