Interactional Linguistics: Studying Language in Social Interaction

Interactional Linguistics: Studying Language in Social Interaction

by Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen, Margret Selting


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The first textbook dedicated to interactional linguistics, focusing on linguistic analyses of conversational phenomena, this introduction provides an overview of the theory and methodology of interactional linguistics. Reviewing recent findings on linguistic practices used in turn construction and turn taking, repair, action formation, ascription, and sequence and topic organization, the book examines the way that linguistic units of varying size - sentences, clauses, phrases, clause combinations, and particles - are mobilized for the implementation of specific actions in talk-in-interaction. A final chapter discusses the implications of an interactional perspective for our understanding of language as well as its variation, diversity, and universality. Supplementary online chapters explore additional topics such as the linguistic organization of preference, stance, footing, and storytelling, as well as the use of prosody and phonetics, and further practices with language. Featuring summary boxes and transcripts from recordings of everyday conversation, this is an essential resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate courses on language in social interaction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107616035
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 12/21/2017
Pages: 620
Product dimensions: 6.85(w) x 9.72(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen is Distinguished Professor (emerita) at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She has published widely on prosody and grammar in interaction; in addition to numerous journal articles, she has authored, co-authored and co-edited many volumes on interactional linguistics, including Prosody in Conversation (with Margret Selting, Cambridge, 1996) and Studies in Interactional Linguistics (with Margret Selting, Cambridge, 2001).

Margret Selting is Professor of Linguistics and Communication Theory at Universität Potsdam, Germany. She has published extensively on prosody and grammar in interaction, including Prosody in Conversation (with Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen, Cambridge, 1996), Studies in Interactional Linguistics (with Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen, Cambridge, 2001) and Verständigungsprobleme (1987).

Table of Contents

Introduction: 1. What is interactional linguistics?; Part I. How Is Interaction Conducted with Lightening Sources?: 2. Turn construction and turn taking; 3. Repair; 4. Action formation and ascription; 5. Topic and sequence; Part II. How are Linguistic Resources Deployed in Interaction?; 6. Sentences, clauses, and phrases; 7. Clause combinations; 8. One-word constructions: particles; Conclusion: 9. Implications for language theory.

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