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The Language and Social Interaction Working Group (LANSI)


1st Meeting of the Language and Social Interaction Working Group (LANSI)

Preliminary Schedule

(All presentations take place in Grace Dodge Hall 179)

Friday, October 14, 2011

8:15 - 8:45


8:45 - 9:00

Welcome to the Conference

9:00 - 9:25

Xeno-racism and discursive construction of “Us” vs. “Them”: Migrants and CEOs in U.S.crime reports

Theresa Ann Catalano

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

This presentation attempts to reveal how language is used by dominant groups to represent Latino migrants negatively in online newspaper crime reports while downplaying crimes committed by groups considered “Us”, such as Wall Street/corporate criminals. This negative representation is a potent distraction that serves to keep dominant groups in power.

9:30 - 9:55

“Can I have please pass the salad”: Second language requests at mealtime

Lyn Wright Fogle

Mississippi State University

This study investigates the development of L2 requests in one transnational adoptive family’s mealtime interactions. Findings suggest that socialization of requests is related to power relations and social roles in the family.  Parents’ explicit attention to certain forms implies that experts are socialized into meeting learners’ needs in naturalistic settings.

10:00 - 10:25

A conversation analytic approach to “schizophrenic speech”: Exploring variation in turn design

Lisa Mikesell

University of California, Los Angeles

This study uses CA to show that turn taking is a central difficulty of many individuals with schizophrenia. Participants with interactional impairments composed two groups: those that produced extended turns often with prosodic practices and those that produced minimal turns. Implications for understanding this interactional variation in schizophrenia are discussed.

10:25 - 10:45

Coffee/Tea Break (GDH 177)

10:45 - 11:10

Reenactments: Talk, Body, Prosody, and Gaze

Sandra A. Thompson & Ryoko Suzuki

UC Santa Barbara and Keio University

Our analysis of tellers reenacting a previously occurring event reveals their skilled use of linguistic and bodily-visual resources. We show that their deployment of these resources depends on the nature of the reenacted event and the participant frameworks of both that event and of the current setting for the telling.

11:15 - 11:40

Non-Verbal Vocalizations in Embodied Enactments

Jackson P. Tolins

University of Colorado Boulder

I consider the use of ‘semantically-empty’ vocalizations in the interaction between musicians to show that non-lexical vocalizations are actually a rich semiotic resource. Non-lexical vocalizations, combined with gesture and body movement are used spontaneously to both express previous music in quotation, and direct the action of the recipient through enactments.

11:45 - 12:45


Using Candidate Answer Queries in Place of Explicitly Performing Offensive Actions

 Anita Pomerantz

University at Albany

12:45 - 1:45

Lunch in the Neighborhood

1:45 - 2:10

Body Movements and Interactional Units in Mandarin Face-to-Face Conversation

Xiaoting Li

University of Alberta

This article explores the organizational pattern of body movements and its interactional significance in question-answer sequences in Mandarin face-to-face conversation. It is argued that the human body is an equally important semiotic resource as syntax and prosody. It is relevant to the organization of face-to-face conversation.

2:15 - 2:40 

  Not Funny ‘haha’:   
A Cross-institutional Analysis of Resistant Laughter

Christine Jacknick & Maureen T Matarese


This conversation-analytic study examines laughter in two comparable institutional contexts: an adult language classroom and an urban homeless shelter. Drawing on data from two studies, we explore student/client laughter displaying affiliation and non-affiliation. Students and homeless clients use laughter as a subversive and subtle means of resisting teachers and caseworkers.

2:45 - 3:10

Becoming a People of the Book: language practices in the religious classroom

Sharon Avni


This presentation presents data on the multilingual socialization practices of adolescents attending a non-Orthodox Jewish day school in New York City. The data are drawn from an ethnographically-informed microanalysis of an extended interaction during a lesson in which the students and teachers translate and interpret an excerpt from the Bible.

3:10 - 3:30 

Coffee/Tea Break (GDH 177)

3:30 - 3:55 

Constructed dialogue and professional competence display:

Examples from email supervision of counselors-in-training

Cynthia Gordon & Melissa Luke

Syracuse University

We examine constructed dialogue (Tannen, 2007) in email supervisory communication between Master’s-level counselors-in-training (n = 31) and their internship supervisors (n = 3). Interns’ constructed dialogue engages with the knowledge, awareness, and skills elements that constitute “multicultural competence” (Sue & Sue, 2007); it discursively constructs professional competence for relative novices.

4:00 - 4:25

Learning and Discovery in Online Chat

Alan Zemel & Tim Koschmann

University at Albany & Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

This investigation extends our examination of instruction and learning as witnessable interactional achievements to online chat environments. We find that actors engaging in discovery work in online chat environments adapt such face-to-face practices as glossing, formulation and enactment to warrant their assessments of discovery claims. Conversation analytic methods of investigation are used.

4:30 - 4:55

Questioning Teachers:
Students’ Epistemic Downgrades as Questions

Innhwa Park

University of California, Los Angeles

Using CA, this study examines interactional practices through which students and teachers negotiate and achieve pedagogy in one-on-one writing conferences. I focus on how students deploy epistemic downgrades as questions and discuss how the participants normatively orient to epistemic asymmetry and self-directedness. It has implications for studies in educational discourse.

5:00 - 6:30



Saturday, October 15, 2011

8:30 - 8:55 

Complaining and Coming Clean: Voicing and Interactional Positioning  in a Staff Meeting of a University Mental Health Clinic

Jacqueline Michelle Gianico

The Pennsylvania State University

This paper presents a narrative and conversation analytic approach to the achievement of complaining and coming clean in an institutional setting. The analysis found that reported speech and thought were important interactional tools for positioning. Findings support the claim that complaining and coming clean in institutional settings is risky business.

9:00 - 9:25

English and German turn-final polarity markers: displays of uncertainty

Anna Veronika Drake

University of Wisconsin-Madison

This paper reports on the findings of a conversation analytic cross-linguistic comparison of English and German turn-final tokens which tilt the turn format toward a negative response. Interlocutors draw on grammatical turn formats to display uncertainty about and make relevant (dis)confirmation of the preceding candidate understanding.

9:30 - 9:55

First Person Reference in Korean

Jihye Yoon


This study analyzes the use of overt first person reference forms in Korean, where first person reference forms are optional. They are used first in utterances which are slightly disjunctive yet related to the main topic, and second in third-position repairs.

9:55 - 10:10

Coffee/Tea Break (GDH 177)

10:00 - 10:25

Discursive Identity Construction of Drag Queens on Rupaul’s Drag Race

Christopher Sean Perrello

Syracuse University

Analysis of drag queens’ discourse reveals how their identities are discursively constructed on the reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race. Discursive elements addressed include indexicality, verbal art, stance-taking, using voice in developing a diva persona, polyphony, and their obligatory role as “entertainer.”


10:30 - 10: 55

Cross-linguistic Study of the Use of Discourse Markers in Children’s Talk- in-Interactions

Ihnhee Kim

University of Pennsylvania

This cross-linguistic study explores the use of discourse markers in talk-in-interactions of English- and Korean-speaking children. Conversation analysis reveals dynamic functions of DMs from interactional points of view. The corpus-driven analysis proposes a core meaning of the two markers as signaling contextual divergence from which different interactional meanings have emerged.

11: 00 - 11:25

Operationalizing “success” in military cross-cultural communication

Rebecca Rubin Damari & Aubrey Logan-Terry

Georgetown University

This paper draws on Interactional Sociolinguistic and Conversation Analytic frameworks to analyze YouTube videos ofU.S. service members interacting with Iraqi and Afghan military personnel and civilians. We describe patterns and characteristics of “successful” interactions in order to inform military cross-cultural communication training.

11:45 - 12:45


The Constant Touch

Joan Kelly Hall

Penn State University

12:45 - 1:45

Lunch in the Neighborhood

1:45 - 2:10

The Function of Gaze in a Writing Center

Tara E. Tarpey

Teachers College, Columbia University

Using conversation analysis as a framework, this presentation investigates the use of gaze as a resource for managing institutional goals in a writing center. The data reveal that the tutor employs gaze to negotiate between the local goal of improving the manuscript and the global goal of improving the writer.

2:15 - 2:40

Let Trouble Pass!: Intersection of Task Design and Learner Orientation in Peer Interaction

Atsushi Hasegawa

New York University

This study reports on ‘let trouble pass,’ the practice that resembles ‘delayed other repair’ and ‘let it pass’ but its underlying drive is different from either. The database consisted of 67 pair work from Japanese language classrooms. Analysis revealed that the practice reflexively indexes the pedagogical focus of the classrooms.

2:45 - 3:10

“A Spiderman pencil for you!”: Language socialization in an adult Mandarin class in Taiwan

Shumin Lin

University of South Florida

This paper analyzes classroom discourse in a Mandarin class in Taiwan that served both elderly Taiwanese and "foreign brides" (women from Southeast Asia who married rural men). Consistent with public construction of the two groups as "illiterate" and "non-modern," the adult students were discursively treated as children in the classroom.

3:10 - 3:30

Coffee/Tea Break (GDH 177)

3:30 - 3:55

Journalists’ Discursive Construction of Public Opinion on President Obama’s First 11 Months in Office:  The Uses of Voters’ Voices from a Focus Group


Richard Buttny & Kathleen Haspel

Syracuse University & Fairleigh Dickinson University


We address how journalists construct news out of a focus group of voters. We use discursive analysis to examine journalists’ oral discussion and written news stories. Journalists’ practices in giving voice to participants include direct and indirect speech, reported action, attribution of cognitive states, and summary quotes of the group.

4:00 - 4:25

Coping with Conflicts of Interest in Teacher-Parent Talk

Linda Wine

Teachers College, Columbia University & Hunter College, CUNY

This study explores a few of the strategies a teacher uses to negotiate power and display accountability during parent-teacher meetings, especially when conflicts of interest arise. These strategies include a shifting use of deitics (notably "we") to display or withhold alignment, a finding with implications beyond the immediate educational context.

4:25 - 4:30



Data Session

Our next data session will be held on June 18 (Sat) 9:30-11:30 am via Zoom.