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Personal profile

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

Fields of Science

  • 6121 Languages

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 2005 2019

Comparing language use in social interaction

Couper-Kuhlen, E., 2019, Studies in Comparative Pragmatics. Lenk, H. E. H., Härmä, J., Sanromán Vilas, B. & Suomela-Härmä, E. (eds.). Cambridge Scholars Publishing, p. 3-18 16 p.

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

Turn-sharing revisited: An exploration of simultaneous speech in interactions between couples

Pfaender, S. & Couper-Kuhlen, E., Jul 2019, In : Journal of Pragmatics. 147, p. 22-48 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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

Interactional Linguistics: Studying language in social interaction

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

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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

Projects 2008 2017

Prosody and pragmatic function in next-turn repetitions across five languages

Rossi, G., Couper-Kuhlen, E., Hakulinen, A., Huhtamäki, M., Lindström, J., Londen, A., Persson, R., Stevanovic, M. & Vatanen, A.

09/02/2015 → …

Project: Research project

Emotive involvement in conversational storytelling

Couper-Kuhlen, E. & Selting, M.


Project: Research project

Activities 2007 2017

Lapse Organization in Interaction

Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen (Opponent)

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

The interactional accomplishment of action

Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen (Pre-examiner)

Activity: Examination typesPre-examiner of doctoral thesis

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

External reviewer of dissertation "Territories of knowledge in Japanese conversation"

Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen (Pre-examiner)

Activity: Examination typesSupervisor or co-supervisor of doctoral thesis

Academy of Finland (External organisation)

Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen (Chair)

Activity: Membership typesMembership or other role in review committee