Interactional practices and linguistic resources of stance taking in spoken English

This research project, most active between 2002-2005 but spanning a longer time period, focused on a prevalent interactional phenomenon, the articulation and differentiation of stance as a joint intersubjective activity between discourse participants.

We expanded the organizational domains relevant for understanding 'stance', by adding to the range of linguistic and interactional resources that can be used by participants in talk-in-interaction for displaying and taking stances. Our focus was on 'stance taking' rather than stance as a single speaker's concept. Stance taking is an activity that is essentially dialogic, interactive, and intersubjective in nature: co-participants frequently engage in jointly constructing and negotiating their stances, in connection with various social actions and over topically coherent or goal-coherent courses of action.

The project has been carried out in cooperation between the Department of English in Oulu and the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). The Oulu research group involved five researchers:

Project director

Elise Kärkkäinen

Project researchers
•  Pentti Haddington
•  Tiina Keisanen
•  Mirka Rauniomaa
•  Maarit Siromaa, née Niemelä
 
Associate members
•  John Du Bois
Department of Linguistics, University of California at Santa Barbara
•  Sandra Thompson
Department of Linguistics, University of California at Santa Barbara
•  Robert Englebretson
Department of Linguistics, Rice University, Houston
 
Project collaborators 
•  Paul McIlvenny, Department of Languages, Culture and Aesthetics, University of Aalborg
•  Pirkko Raudaskoski, Department of Communication and Psychology, University of Aalborg
•  Arja Piirainen-Marsh, Department of Languages (English), University of Jyväskylä
•  Liisa Raevaara, Research Institute for the Languages of Finland, Helsinki
•  Jane Stuart-Smith, Department of English Language, University of Glasgow
 
Project funding

Academy of Finland: funding for research project 2002-2005, Academy Research Fellow's post for Kärkkäinen 2003-2006, grants for studies and research abroad for Haddington 2001, Keisanen 2002, and Rauniomaa 2003

Emil Aaltonen Foundation: funding for research project 2002-2004

Langnet or the Finnish Graduate School in Linguistics: postgraduate researcher's post for Haddington 2001-2004, Rauniomaa 2005-2006, and Niemelä 2007-2009

University of Oulu: individual research grants for Keisanen 2000, 2001, Haddington 2000, Niemelä 2004, 2006, and Rauniomaa 2007

 

Publications

Here is a list of relevant publications by project researchers.

Elise Kärkkäinen

  • Keisanen, T. and E. Kärkkäinen 2014. Stance. In Schneider, K. P. & Barron A. (eds), Pragmatics of discourse. Handbooks of Pragmatics (HoPs). Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton. 295–322.

  • Kärkkäinen, E. and J. Du Bois (eds.) 2012. Stance, Affect, and Intersubjectivity in Interaction: Sequential and Dialogic Perspectives. Special issue of Text & Talk, 32–4, 433–568.

  • Du Bois, J. and E. Kärkkäinen 2012. Taking a stance on emotion: affect, sequence, and intersubjectivity in dialogic interaction. In Kärkkäinen, E. and J. Du Bois (eds.) Stance, Affect, and Intersubjectivity in Interaction: Sequential and Dialogic Perspectives. Special issue of Text & Talk, 32–4, 433–451.

  • Kärkkäinen, E. 2012. On digressing with a stance and not seeking a recipient response. In Kärkkäinen, E. and J. Du Bois (eds.) Stance, Affect, and Intersubjectivity in Interaction: Sequential and Dialogic Perspectives. Special issue of Text & Talk, 32–4, 477–502.

  • Kärkkäinen, E. 2007. The role of I guess in conversational stancetaking. In Englebretson, R. (ed.) Stancetaking in Discourse: Subjectivity, evaluation, interaction. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 183–219.

  • Kärkkäinen, E. 2006. Stance-taking in conversation: From subjectivity to intersubjectivity. Text & Talk 26-6, 699–731.

Pentti Haddington

  • Haddington, P. 2007. Positioning and alignment as activities of stancetaking in news interviews. In Englebretson, R. (ed.) Stancetaking in Discourse: Subjectivity, evaluation, interaction. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 283-317.

  • Haddington, P. 2006. The organization of gaze and assessments as resources for stance taking. Text & Talk 26(3), 281-328.

  • Haddington, P. 2006. Identity and stance taking in news interviews: A case study. In Lassen, I., Strunck, J. and Vestergaard, T. (eds.), Mediating Ideology in Text and Image: Ten Critical Studies. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 69-95.

  • Haddington, P. 2005. The linguistic NEG + POS pattern and two action combinations as resources for interviewee stance taking in news interviews. In Kuure, L., E. Kärkkäinen and M. Saarenkunnas (eds.), Kieli ja sosiaalinen toiminta - Language and Social Action. AFinLA Yearbook. 85-107.

Tiina Keisanen

  • Keisanen, T. and E. Kärkkäinen 2014. Stance. In Schneider, K. P. & Barron (eds), A. Pragmatics of discourse. Handbooks of Pragmatics (HoPs). Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton. 295–322

  • Keisanen, T. 2007. Stancetaking as an interactional activity: Challenging the prior speaker. In Englebretson, R. (ed.), Stancetaking in Discourse: Subjectivity, evaluation, interaction. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 253-281.

  • Keisanen, T. 2006. Patterns of Stance Taking: Negative Yes/no Interrogatives and Tag Questions in American English Conversation. Acta Universitatis Ouluensis B71. Oulu: Oulu University Press. Available in electronic form at http://urn.fi/urn:isbn:9514280393

Mirka Rauniomaa

  • Rauniomaa, M. 2008. Recovery through repetition. Returning to prior talk and taking a stance in American-English and Finnish conversations. Acta Universitatis Ouluensis B85. Oulu: Oulu University Press. Available in electronic form at http://urn.fi/urn:isbn:9789514289248

  • Rauniomaa, M. 2007. Stance markers in spoken Finnish: minun mielestä and minusta in assessments. In Englebretson, R. (ed.) Stancetaking in Discourse: Subjectivity, evaluation, interaction. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 221-252.

Maarit Niemelä

  • Siromaa (Née Niemelä), M. 2012. Resonance in conversational second stories: A dialogic resource for stance taking. Kärkkäinen, E. ja J. W. Du Bois (eds.) Stance and Affect in Interaction: Sequential and Dialogic Perspectives. Text & Talk, 32 (4), 525–545.

  • Niemelä, M. 2011. Resonance in storytelling: Verbal, prosodic and embodied practices of stance taking. Acta Universitatis Ouluensis B95. Oulu: Oulu University Press. Available in electronic form at http://urn.fi/urn:isbn:9789514294174

  • Niemelä, M. 2010. The reporting space in conversational storytelling: Orchestrating all semiotic channels for taking a stance. Journal of Pragmatics 42(12), 3258–3270.

 

Activities

The project group has been involved in the organization of the following seminars and symposia:

XXXIV Linguistic Symposium of Finland. Cognitive linguistics and the study of interaction - points of contact and possible common research questions?, held in Oulu 24-25- May 2007

V Finnish Seminar on Conversation Studies Locating stance and affect in conversation: From syntax to prosody to embodiment in Oulu, January 18-20, 2006.

Autumn Symposium of AFinLA 2004, Language and Social Action, in Oulu, November 12-13, 2004.

Tenth Biennial Rice Linguistics Symposium Stancetaking in Discourse: Subjectivity in interaction.

Langnet seminar in Oulu, September 10-12, 2003.

Seminar "Stance Taking, Dialogic Syntax, and Interaction - with data from English and Finnish Conversations", Oulu, September 2-10, 2003.

 

Research visits:

 

Elise Kärkkäinen

  • Department of English, University of Ghent, Belgium. February 16-20, 2004.
  • Department of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara. February 22 - March 22, 2002.

Pentti Haddington

  • Department of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara. May 15, 2001 - April 28, 2002.

Tiina Keisanen

  • Department of Swedish, University of Goteborg, Sweden. May 19-30, 2003.
  • Department of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara. January 1 - March 31, 2003.
  • Department of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara. January 1 - August 31, 2002.

Mirka Rauniomaa

  • Department of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara. January 1 - March 31, 2003.

Maarit Niemelä

  • Department of English Language, University of Glasgow. January 1 - February 20, 2004.

 

References

The project members have put together an extensive (but not exhaustive) list of references that they have found interesting and useful in their explorations of stance taking.

The bibliography (last updated in 2005) can be downloaded as a printable .pdf file.

Last updated: 12.12.2016