This website deals with the research activities of the non-lexical vocalisations team. We study how the body and the voice are coordinated to do things in everyday life. Our research questions the dichotomy of body vs. voice that is frequently seen in linguistics. We combine analysis of embodied behaviours as well as vocal behaviours. We are particularly focusing on ‘non-lexical’ sounds, the components of interaction that have typically been treated as if they were not language in past linguistic research. We are constantly finding evidence that the smallest detail is important for how humans organize their interactions – nothing can be overlooked, and everything works together to create social actions.
In more specific terms, from our grant proposal:
One of the essential assets of human beings is our ability to coordinate action and collaborate in shared tasks. This project studies vocal practices for achieving embodied coordination in real time, with a focus on non-lexical vocalizations, such as ugh, aargh. Targeting the liminal boundary between body and language, individual voice and intersubjectivity, a dialogical theory of language and mind will be empirically contextualized in the temporal organization of coordinated multimodal action. It problematizes the traditional boundaries of linguistics where uses of voice such as grunts and groans are not treated as part of the lexicon. By starting from some of the most down-to-earth human activities and analyzing these with the cutting-edge methods of multimodal interaction analysis, the project aims to disclose the basic temporal organization of action through the closely coordinated deployment of linguistic-vocal and embodied semiotic means (Goodwin 2000; Keevallik 2013). In contrast to the majority of interaction research that focuses on the sequential formation of action (Levinson 2013), the current project targets simultaneity and the continuous unfolding and mutual recalibration of interpretable action.