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I was born in Malmö, Sweden, in 1944. I have been a professor at Linköping University since 1981, and was appointed “distinguished researcher” by the Swedish Research Council in 2004. My main disciplinary homebase is in interdisciplinary (socio)linguistics, with a specialisation in dialogical theory and the analysis of talk-in-interaction. In the following, references in bold face are to my publication list (see COMPLETE LIST OF PUBLICATIONS).

Most of my projects have dealt with so-called institutional interaction, i.e. professional-client encounters in different institutional and organisational settings, such as court trials (48, 49, 53, 61, 68, 70), police interrogations (63, 64, 66, 70, 84, M4), asylum hearings (P3, P4), social welfare talks (78), talk in various health-care settings (76, 86, 99, 103, 108, 112, 134, R30), or talk within projects for unemployed young people (111). I have also been involved in collaborative projects on the analysis of focus-group talk (105, 106, 117, 129). Problems such as the following have been dealt with: power and dominance in interaction (47, 48, 51, 56, 61, M2), the relations between spoken dialogues and the written reports of these dialogues (in police interrogations) (63, 64, M4), participation structure (59, 68), episode structure (82, 85, 90) and content (106, 129) in multiparty conversations, different perspectives on topics (71, 78, 110), collective remembering in dialogue (66, M4), the collaborative nature of miscommunication and misunderstandings (80, 84, M2), complex framings (in simulated job interviews) (111), the effects of ‘recontextualisations’ of messages as they move across different communicative encounters (96), the relations between projects of talk-in-interaction and other (medical) work tasks (example: midwives¿ preventive health care) (99, 134, R30, M2), the treatment (within medical talk) of sensitive topics (86, 103) and risks (108, 112), how to use vagueness as a resource in anonymous threatening phone calls (77), trust and distrust in discourse (135, P2, M1, P4) and other morally loaded issues (198) etc. I have developed a general theory of communicative activity types (136, P1, M2). Radical social constructivism was critically reviewed in 126.

I have been involved in developing dialogically-based coding systems for talk-in-interaction (47, 48, 51, 56, 82, 85, 88, 90, M2). Work on the grammar and lexical semantics of conversational language (Swedish) (120, 122, 125, 130, 131, 137, 139, P6) and on dialogical linguistics and discourse theory (118, 123, 127, 128, 132, 133, 136, P5, P7). Finally, I have discussed the written-language bias in linguistics and other language sciences (54, 121, 136, 138).

My theoretical work has been summarised in three recent books, Approaching Dialogue (1998: 97), The Written Language Bias in Linguistics (2005: 121) and Rethinking Language, Mind and World Dialogically: Interactional and contextual theories of human sense-making (2009, 136). A comprehensive treatment of talk-in-interaction as communicative activities (in Swedish) is forthcoming (Samtalskulturer: M2).

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Senast uppdaterad: 2010-02-20