Language and Cognition -
Interactional Foundations of Language
The Interactional Foundations of Language project investigates language in its primordial context — face-to-face conversational interaction — the context in which it is first learned and predominantly used. Research in this project focuses on the basic infrastructure of social interaction: systems of turn-taking that organize opportunities to speak in conversation; mechanisms through which speakers identify and remedy troubles in speaking, hearing, or understanding such that intersubjectivity and mutual understanding can be achieved and maintained; and the linguistic practices and cognitive processes that underpin the construction and split-second recognition of speech acts in real-time interaction.
To investigate these interactional foundations of language, researchers employ a unique mix of methodologies, including linguistic description and typology, conversation analysis, ethnography, corpus linguistics, developmental studies and both behavioral and neurocognitive experimental psychology.