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Dinner speech - Stefan Pfänder

Stefan Pfänder

Prof. Dr. Stefan Pfänder
Interactional Linguistics and Multimodal
University of Freiburg

Mirroring Movements. And why a linguist should care about the bodily synchronization in dyadic talk-in-interaction
When Dec 06, 2017
from 05:30 PM to 06:00 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminar Room
Contact Name
Contact Phone (0)761 203-97600
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In his explorative presentation, Stefan Pfänder sheds some light the first empirical findings of the interdisciplinary FRIAS Research Focus Group "Synchronization in Embodied Interaction". Within the group, synchronisation is defined as “the dynamic and reciprocal alignment of both verbal and bodily modes of expression between interactants in dyadic talk-in-interaction”. Stefan presents the phenomena under investigation from the linguist’s point of view; he gives the following answers to the question raised in the subtitle of why a linguist should care about participants’ bodily movements at all:

1. Linguistic research is increasingly characterized by the assumption that language needs to be investigated in its natural habitat, as it were, namely in the context of social and often bodily interaction. 

2. In a data set of 124 video recordings of collaborative story tellings, both verbal and bodily resources interact constantly, and especially so in jointly produced utterances.

3. Last, but not least, some mirroring movements are indispensable for sequences of disagreement or tension, where participants are striving to understand each other despite of their possibly opposite points of view.