Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen


Description of research and teaching


After early forays into the fields of (i) passivization and (ii) temporal semantics, my research over the past twenty years has increasingly centered on (iii) prosody and (iv) the use of language in social interaction. The latter two fields together have come to be known as “Interactional linguistics”.

The idea is to examine language in vivo rather than in vitro, i.e. in real situations of use rather than in the laboratory, and to use the evidence provided by participants themselves to warrant analytic claims. This is the approach I am currently taking with respect to two research endeavors.

The first concerns affect and emotion as they are displayed and managed in everyday conversational storytelling: the task is to describe the verbal, vocal and gestural resources used to make affective stances accessible in storytelling and to understand the relevancies that such affect displays mobilize for particular kinds of affiliative response.

The second research endeavor relates to clause combining in talk-in-interaction: here the challenge is to understand what are typically thought of as static grammatical “constructions” as actions that unfold in time and can therefore dynamically project specific kinds of upcoming talk and/or retrospectively backlink to specific parts of earlier talk.

>> Publications


Curriculum Vitae

Latest publications

  1. Finding a Place for Body Movement in Grammar

    Couper-Kuhlen, E., 2018, In : Research on Language and Social Interaction. 51, 1, p. 22-25 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific

  2. Interactional Linguistics: Studying language in social interaction

    Couper-Kuhlen, E. & Selting, M., 2018, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 620 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBookScientificpeer-review

  3. Prosodic dimensions of co-operation

    Couper-Kuhlen, E., 2018, Co-operative Engagements of Intertwined Semiosis: Essays in honour of Charles Goodwin. Favareau, D. (ed.). Tartu: University of Tartu Press, p. 42-54 13 p. (Tartu Semiotics Library; no. 19).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

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Latest activities

  1. Turn design as a locus for intersubjectivity: Imperatively formatted turns

    Marja-Leena Sorjonen (Speaker), Liisa Anneli Raevaara (Speaker), Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen (Speaker)
    11 May 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

  2. Lapse Organization in Interaction

    Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen (Opponent)

    Activity: Examination typesMember of doctoral thesis committee / follow-up group

  3. The interactional accomplishment of action

    Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen (Pre-examiner)

    Activity: Examination typesPre-examiner of doctoral thesis

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Latest projects

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