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Workshop: “Alignment and alignables in the analysis of interaction”

Lecturer(s)Jakob Steensig
Contact personMizuki Koda
DateThursday, 25th March 2021, 09:00 - 16:30
RegistrationRegistration required
LocationOnline Basel Switzerland

Workshop 25.3.2021 on zoom (9h-16h30)

Alignment and alignables in the analysis of interaction – Jakob Steensig

The notion of alignment has been widely used in conversation analysis in a technical way within the study of sequential and sequence organization. This workshop discusses the phenomena that can be approached with this perspective, as well as critically discusses the definition and use of the category itself.

In the workshop, we will try to find out what are the analytical advantages of looking at alignment and disalignment (and affiliation and disaffiliation) when analyzing recordings of real-life interaction. 

Task to prepare — I will ask participants to read Lindström & Sorjonen (2013) and Steensig (2020) as background reading. On top of that, I have chosen three articles that have a more analytical focus: Jefferson (1984); Raymond (2003) and Stivers (2008). I will ask you to read those with a quite specific focus: What are people aligning or disaligning with when they (a) move away from talk about a trouble (Jefferson); (b) produce type-conforming and type-nonconforming answers to yes/no interrogatives (Raymond); and (c) produce recipient responses to storytelling (Stivers)? Find at least three extracts (in one or several of the articles) and be ready to say something about what is being (dis/)aligned (or dis/affiliated) with and how we can see that.

Literature (mandatory readings)

Jefferson, G. (1984). On stepwise transition from talk about a trouble to inappropriately next-positioned matters. In J.M. Atkinson & J. Heritage (Eds.), Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis (pp. 191-222). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lindström, A. & Sorjonen, M.-L. (2013). Affiliation in Conversation. In J. Sidnell & T. Stivers (Eds.), The Handbook of Conversation Analysis (pp. 350-369). Oxford, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Raymond, Geoffrey (2003). Grammar and social organization: yes/no interrogatives and the structure of responding, American Sociological Review, 68(6), 939–967.

Steensig, J. (2020). Conversation Analysis and Affiliation and Alignment. In C. Chapelle (Ed.), The concise encyclopedia of applied linguistics. Oxford UK: Wiley.

Stivers, T. (2008). Stance, alignment, and affiliation during storytelling: When nodding is a token of affiliation. Research on Language and Social Interaction41(1), 31–57.