Special issue of Open Linguistics edited by Mark Dingemanse & N. J. Enfield
This special issue reports on a set of findings of a large-scale research project looking at patterns of language use from a systematic comparative perspective. The focus is on a common and crucial aspect of language use: other-initiated repair, or how participants in interaction deal with problems in speaking, hearing and understanding. Articles in this issue describe the domain of other-initiated repair in a dozen languages based on video corpora of conversation.
By delivering new work on a dozen of languages, the issue more than doubles the number of available descriptions of other-initiated repair across languages. The introduction to the special issue describes the research methods, a common conceptual framework, and cross-linguistic generalisations. Taken as a whole, the issue demonstrates a methodology for the systematic comparative study of social interaction, using a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis, and building on insights from conversation analysis, linguistic typology, and usage-based studies of language structure.
Background of guest editors
Mark Dingemanse is research staff at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. His research focuses on the interplay of language, culture and cognition. He has published on iconicity, conversational structure and pragmatic typology. With Nick Enfield, he coordinates the repair project.
N. J. Enfield is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. His latest books include Relationship Thinking (OUP, 2013), Natural Causes of Language (Language Science Press, 2014), and The Utility of Meaning (OUP, 2015). He has published more than 100 articles and reviews.
The research reported here is funded by the ERC project Human Sociality and Systems of Language Use (240853) and by the Language and Cognition Department of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.