International Winter School at the Leibniz Institute for the German Language:

Points of departure in Conversation Analysis and Interactional Linguistics: Action, form(at) and beyond

Das Bild zeigt das Plakat zur Winter School 2025.
© Norbert Cußler-Volz, IDS

Dr. Alexandra Gubina and Dr. Uwe-Alexander Küttner
(Department of Pragmatics, Leibniz Institute for the German Language, Mannheim)


  • Prof. Dr. Emma Betz (University of Waterloo)
  • Prof. Dr. Arnulf Deppermann (IDS Mannheim)
  • Prof. em. Dr. Barbara A. Fox (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  • Prof. Dr. Elliott M. Hoey (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • Prof. Dr. Lorenza Mondada (University of Basel)
  • Prof. Dr. Florence Oloff (IDS Mannheim)
  • Prof. Dr. Simona Pekarek Doehler (Université de Neuchâtel)
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Chase Wesley Raymond (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Zinken (IDS Mannheim)

Leibniz Institute for the German Language, Mannheim

Date(s): 17-19 February, 2025

Number of participants: max. 30 participants

There are various analytic pathways for research within Conversation Analysis (CA) and Interactional Linguistics (IL): One can start with a specific social action and focus, e.g., on how that specific action can be accomplished in a particular language or across different languages. Commonly, such inquiries begin with actions like requests (e.g., Curl and Drew 2008; Drew and Couper-Kuhlen 2014; Fox and Heinemann 2016, 2017; Gubina 2021; Rossi 2012; Zinken 2016), offers (e.g., Curl 2006; Mandelbaum & Lerner 2023; Mondada 2023; Raymond et al. 2021), proposals (e.g., Thompson et al. 2021), and assessments (e.g., Thompson et al. 2015), to mention just a few. Another common strategy is to begin with a (linguistic) form (Couper-Kuhlen & Selting 2001, 2018; Fox 2007), i.e., a recurrent (semi-)linguistic format on different levels of granularity used for accomplishing specific social actions in interaction. Studies focusing on social action formats usually examine various actions that can be carried out with a specific linguistic form (e.g., Betz 2008; Betz et al. 2021; Couper-Kuhlen 2014; Deppermann and Gubina 2021; Gubina 2022; Hoey 2022; Oloff 2017, 2018; Pekarek Doehler 2019; Rossi and Zinken 2016; Raymond 2017). Studies may also begin elsewhere, including, e.g., starting with some interactional "task" or "problem" (like in the field of recruitments; Floyd et al. 2020; Kendrick/Drew 2016), the negotiation of deontic rights (Stevanovic 2013), or the use of embodied resources, such as gaze (Rossano 2012) or facial expressions (Groß et al. 2024; Kaukomaa et al. 2014) - again, to name just a few.

While these different approaches are well-recognized and established in CA and IL research, there is still little methodological discussion of what uniquely characterizes each of them. This Winter School therefore aims at promoting methodological reflections on these different approaches and the concrete analytic decisions and procedures they involve. We envisage an international 3-day workshop, dedicating one full day to practical engagement with each of the aforementioned research strategies:

  1. starting with form(s) (Day 1),
  2. starting with action(s) (Day 2),
  3. starting elsewhere (e.g., an interactional task/problem/outcome, features of the context/setting, identities, etc.) (Day 3).

The school will focus on methodological reflections concerning each of these different approaches, their pros and cons, typical problems, pitfalls, and analytic decisions one is likely to face when choosing one or the other, as well as offering possible solutions for these issues. This should provide early-career researchers (ECRs) with a clearer sense and a greater sensitivity for how the starting point they choose for their investigations may shape the trajectory of the analytic process further down the road.

The participants will be divided into groups according to the languages they speak/can work with (we are expecting German, English, and French groups). Each group will be given a data set in the respective language, which will be prepared by the facilitators, and which will be used throughout the entirety of the workshop. In addition, there will be opportunities for participants to contribute and work with their own data (if available). The idea is that the participants locate a phenomenon of interest and then approach it by starting with a specific form (Day 1), a particular action (Day 2), or from a different angle altogether (e.g., a specific interactional task/problem/outcome, a sequential slot, identity work, etc.) (Day 3). To enable us to better guide this process, we envisage there to be a common focal anchor point for the duration of the workshop that will allow participants to try out different approaches with respect to a common overarching theme—namely, ‘Mobilizing others’.

Each day will consist of

  • a plenary talk giving an overview of steps, procedures, and recurrent problems of a specific point of departure/approach,
  • intense analytic group work with facilitators, and
  • discussion of the problems that the participants find themselves facing with each approach.

The workshop is designed for ECRs engaged in their own initial CA/IL projects who seek guidance, collaborative reflection on the methodological implications of their decisions, and learning about alternative approaches and possible solutions to recurrent problems.

The number of participants is capped to 30 to ensure an intensive scientific exchange and an informal atmosphere.


The total cost of the International Winter School is 200 EUR for unsalaried (post)graduates and 250 EUR for salaried researchers. This cost includes course materials, a Certificate of Attendance, light refreshments for coffee breaks, as well as lunch. It does not include breakfast and dinner, accommodation, or travel.

Due to the limited number of available spaces, participation will be decided via an application process. Applications must be submitted to winterschool_CA_IL(at) and contain the following information, in a single PDF-file (max. 3 pages):

  • a description of your prior CA/IL-related work, experience (training, knowledge of transcription conventions, project work, theses, publications, etc.) as well as the name(s) of supervisor(s)
  • the topic of your PhD-project (or any other project you are currently working on)
  • a concise curriculum vitae

The application deadline is 19 August 2024. Applicants will be notified of their participation status by 26 August 2024.

For inquiries and further information, please contact us at winterschool_CA_IL(at)

Here you will find a report by Carolina Fenner, Galina Gostrer, Lydia Heiden, Taiane Malabarba, and Sam Schirm on the first International Summer Institute for Interactional Linguistics 2022 at the IDS Mannheim:


Betz, E. (Ed.). (2008). Grammar and interaction: Pivots in German conversation. John Benjamins Publishing.

Betz, E., Deppermann, A., Mondada, L., & Sorjonen, M. L. (Eds.). (2021). OKAY across languages: Toward a comparative approach to its use in talk-in-interaction. John Benjamins.

Couper-Kuhlen, E. (2014). What does grammar tell us about action? Pragmatics, 24(3), 623–647.

Couper-Kuhlen, E., & Selting, M. (2001). Introducing interactional linguistics. In E. Couper-Kuhlen & M. Selting (Eds.), Studies in interactional linguistics (pp. 1-22). John Benjamins.

Couper-Kuhlen, E., & Selting, M. (2017). Interactional linguistics: Studying language in social interaction. Cambridge University Press.

Curl, T. S. (2006). Offers of assistance. Constraints on syntactic design. Journal of Pragmatics, 38(8), 1257–1280.

Curl, T. S., & Drew, P. (2008). Contingency and action. A comparison of two forms of requesting. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 41(2), 129–153.

Deppermann, A., & Gubina, A. (2021). Positionally-sensitive action-ascription: Uses of Kannst du X? ‘Can you X?’ in their sequential and multimodal context. Interactional Linguistics, 1(2), 183–215.

Drew, P., & Couper-Kuhlen, E. (Eds.). (2014). Requesting in social interaction. John Benjamins.

Floyd, S., Rossi, G., & Enfield, N. J. (Eds.). (2020). Getting others to do things: A pragmatic typology of recruitments. Language Science Press.

Fox, B. A. (2007). Principles shaping grammatical practices. An exploration. Discourse Studies, 9(3), 299–318.

Fox, B. A., & Heinemann, T. (2016). Rethinking format: An examination of requests. Language in Society, 45(4), 499–531.

Fox, B. A., & Heinemann, T. (2017). Issues in action formation. Requests and the problem with x. Open Linguistics, 3(1), 31–64.

Groß, A., Dix, C., Ruusuvuori, J., & Peräkylä, A. (2023). Facial gestures in social interaction: Introduction to the special issue. Social Interaction: Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 6(3).

Gubina, A. (2021). Availability, grammar, and action formation. On simple and modal interrogative request formats in spoken German. Gesprächsforschung – Online-Zeitschrift zur verbalen Interaktion, 22, 272–303.

Gubina, A. (2022). Grammatik des Handelns in der sozialen Interaktion: Eine interaktionslinguistische, multimodale Untersuchung der Handlungskonstitution und -zuschreibung mit Modalverbformaten im gesprochenen Deutsch. Verlag für Gesprächsforschung.

Hoey, E. M. (2022). Self-authorizing action: On let me X in English social interaction. Language in Society51(1), 95-118.

Kaukomaa, T., Peräkylä, A., & Ruusuvuori, J. (2014). Foreshadowing a problem: Turn-opening frowns in conversation. Journal of Pragmatics, 71, 132-147.

Kendrick, K. H., & Drew, P. (2016). Recruitment. Offers, requests, and the organization of assistance in interaction. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 49(1), 1–19.

Mandelbaum, J., & Lerner, G. H. (2023). On the communicative affordances of instrumental action: Offering meal service to others, whilst serving oneself. Journal of Pragmatics209, 149-167.

Mondada, L. (2023). Offering a Taste in Gourmet Food Shops: Small Gifts in an Economy of Sale. In B. Fox, L. Mondada & M.-L. Sorjonen (Eds.), Encounters at the Counter: The Organization of Shop Interactions (pp. 109–143). Cambridge University Press.

Oloff, F. (2017). Genau als redebeitragsinterne, responsive, sequenzschließende oder sequenzstrukturierende Bestätigungspartikel im Gespräch. In: Blühdorn, H.; Deppermann, A.; Helmer, H.; Spranz-Fogasy, T. (eds.), Diskursmarker im Deutschen. Reflexionen und Analysen. Göttingen, Verlag für Gesprächsforschung: 207-232.

Oloff, F. (2018). “Sorry?” / “Como?” / “Was?” - Open class and embodied repair initiators in international workplace interactions. Journal of Pragmatics 126: 29–51.

Pekarek Doehler, S. (2019). At the Interface of Grammar and the Body: Chais pas (“dunno”) as a Resource for Dealing with Lack of Recipient Response. Research on Language and Social Interaction52(4), 365-387.

Raymond, C. W. (2017). Indexing a contrast: The do-construction in English conversation. Journal of Pragmatics, 118, 22–37.

Raymond, C. W., Robinson, J. D., Fox, B. A., Thompson, S. A., & Montiegel, K. (2021). Modulating action through minimization. Syntax in the service of offering and requesting. Language in Society, 50(1), 53–91.

Rossano, F. (2012). Gaze behavior in face-to-face interaction. MPI.

Rossi, G. (2012). Bilateral and unilateral requests. The use of imperatives and Mi X? interrogatives in Italian. Discourse Processes, 49(5), 426–458.

Rossi, G., & Zinken, J. (2016). Grammar and social agency: The pragmatics of impersonal deontic statements. Language, 92(4), e296-e325.

Stevanovic, M. (2013). Deontic rights in interaction: A conversation analytic study on authority and cooperation (Doctoral dissertation, Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki). Publications of the Department of Social Research.

Thompson, S. A., Fox, B. A., & Couper-Kuhlen, E. (2015). Grammar in everyday talk: Building responsive actions. Cambridge University Press.

Thompson, S. A., Fox, B. A., & Raymond, C. W. (2021). The grammar of proposals for joint activities. Interactional Linguistics, 1(1), 123–151.

Zinken, J. (2016). Requesting responsibility: The morality of grammar in Polish and English family interaction. Oxford University Press.