Center for Language Acquisition Invited Speaker: John Hellermann

Center for Language Acquisition Invited Speaker: John Hellermann

“The Improvisation Metaphor for Language: Studies of Interacting While Walking”

Abstract: Video recorded data of language interaction provides researchers with a view to many of the semiotic resources available to participants in the interaction. These resources include language (including prosody), linguistic and bodily deixis, and the demand character (Enfield 2023) of objects in the environment. The number of resources involved in the meaning-making process presents a dilemma for the researcher interested in finding objects of inquiry that can be traced in the quest for understanding change over time. The improvisation metaphor is discussed as a way to imagine the interpretation of signs, the simultaneous process of contextualization and entextualization (Silverstein and Urban 1996) that participants in spoken interaction engage in. Examples of interaction during augmented reality activities are presented to illustrate.

Bio: John Hellermann is a professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Using methods from conversation analysis, he has investigated the sequential actions and semiotic practices involved in language learning, the prosodic organization of language. Most recently, he has worked on language use in urban settings including, AR activities, linguistic landscapes, and attitudes toward linguistic diversity on the Portland State campus.

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