Project "Verbal and communicative displays of understanding in talk-in-interaction"

Director: Prof. Dr. Arnulf Deppermann How do participants in talk-in-interaction display how they understand their interlocutors? Which verbal and communicative practices do they use for accomplishing shared understandings? How do they deal with vagueness and diversity? What do they do in case of problems and trouble in understanding? What kind of interactional work does the topicalization of understanding in talk-in-interaction perform? How are issues of understanding related to social contexts and communicative tasks? The project investigates how understanding is displayed by observable activities in talk-in-interaction. It focuses on different levels of the interactional organization of understanding: grammatical constructions and lexical resources, multimodal practices, sequential organization of activities, genre-specific orders of interpretation and the repercussion of social structure (institutional tasks and identities) on situated understanding. The project sets as its aim to work out how practices of dealing with matters of understanding provide (for) basic mechanisms of the constitution of talk-in-interaction (e.g. recipient design, dealing with projections, repair, retrospective (re-) interpretation). By exploring different levels of the organization of understanding in talk-in-interaction, the project intends to contribute to an elucidation of the connections between linguistic, interactional and social structures. In this larger framework, four sub-projects investigate the diversity of communicative resources for displaying understanding in talk-in-interaction:Contact: Prof. Dr. Arnulf Deppermann, deppermann(at)