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Mixed Methods & Common Ground (Workshop)

DateWednesday, 31st January 2018

veranstalter: Dr. Giovanni Rossi, Dr. Daria Bahtina-Jantsikene
ansprechpartner: Christina Meuser
institution: HPSL
language: Englisch
location institution: Freiburg
date_raw: 31. Januar 2018, 15:15-18:45
date_sort: 31.01.2018, 00:00:00

A practical introduction to mixed methods for research
on language and social interaction


of Helsinki


In this workshop, I will give an
introduction to the basic concepts, principles, and procedures of mixed methods
for research on language and social interaction. This mixed methodology has a
qualitative and a quantitative part. The qualitative part comes first and consists
in a detailed analysis of the target phenomenon in its formal, sequential, and
normative properties, using approaches and tools from conversation analysis,
linguistics, and gesture studies. This analysis then informs the development of
a coding scheme: a standardized battery of questions to be asked of a large sample
of cases of the target phenomenon. This second, quantitative part of the analysis
allows us to better visualize the distribution and co-occurrence of linguistic
and interactional features, to see things that cannot readily be seen in
qualitative description, and it enables inferential statistics to test the
robustness, generalizability, and predictive power of the patterns observed. I
will illustrate this methodology with examples from cross-linguistic research on
conversational repair, requests, and other-repetitions. The workshop also
includes a hands-on session where I introduce participants to a workflow for
the extraction and processing of coding data from Excel spreadsheets using R
and R Studio. Those who wish to take part in this session should bring their
laptop and make sure they have the following software installed and running:
Microsoft Excel, R (,
and R Studio (
In addition, all participants are encouraged to read the following article in
preparation for the workshop:


Stivers, T.
(2015). Coding Social Interaction: A Heretical Approach in Conversation
Analysis? Research on Language and Social Interaction, 48(1),




Common ground in interaction:

Perspectives, methods, deliverables


Daria Bahtina-Jantsikene

University of Helsinki


When we communicate, we construct and interpret
meanings using our linguistic, cultural, and discourse-specific knowledge
backgrounds. Mutual understanding depends on how well our meanings are in tune with those of others, both in informational and affiliational
terms. This is what I refer to as common
. Consciously
or unconsciously, we take these aspects into account as we interact, even when
our purpose is to manipulate what we share (e.g. exclude someone from a group
or conceal sensitive information). The study of the management of common ground
and related notions — like shared knowledge, interactive alignment or
perspective matching — can be found in every discipline concerned with human
interaction: from communication to sociology, from cultural studies to


In this workshop, we will first survey a number
of areas of research and case studies on the construction and management of
common ground, including, for example, on the selection between
long-established and newly-created shared knowledge for the achievement of a
particular communicative goal, on the different functions of synchronized and
coordinated multimodal behaviors, and on the relation between linguistic
accommodation and power asymmetries between interlocutors, among others. We
will briefly discuss the general advantages and disadvantages of different
approaches, and the potential for application of different findings depending
on their focus and scope. In the second part of the workshop, we will explore
how different approaches and findings can be useful to the current research
questions and projects of workshop participants, who will be encouraged to talk
about their ongoing research, possibly by reference to a short piece of data.


To secure a sufficient degree of theoretical
common ground, participants are invited to think of

relevant accounts from their own areas and/or
read the following article (available online):

Enfield, N. J. (2008). Common Ground as
a Resource for Social Affiliation. In I. Kecskes & J. L. Mey

(Eds.), Intention, Common Ground and
the Egocentric Speaker-Hearer
(pp. 223–254). Berlin:

de Gruyter.