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Programma en keynotes

Anéla/VIOT is proud to welcome the following invited speakers:

  • Lector dr. Martine Noordegraaf (University of Applied Sciences Ede)
  • dr. Sterre Leufkens (Utrecht University)

Keynote 1: Lector dr. Martine Noordegraaf (University of Applied Sciences Ede)

Can Conversation Analysis help to change interactions in institutional settings? Dilemma’s and opportunities of using Conversation Analysis as an interventionist approach.

Conversation Analysis, as a method, has a strong tradition of doing research in institutional settings as the doctor’s clinic, the classroom and psychotherapy. And therefore as being a rather applied method. Although, the goal of such research is to know more about / explicate/ how the interactions in such settings evolve, it is however rarely focused on changing them. Such interventionist rather than an institutional approach differentiates itself  as follows: ‘It is applied to an interactional problem which pre-existed the analyst’s arrival; it has the strong implication that a solution will be identified via the analysis of the sequential organization of talk; and it is undertaken collaboratively, achieved with people in the local scene’ (Antaki, 2011: p.8).

In my talk I will discuss some dilemma’s and opportunities which a more interventionist approach can bring to the scene. For instance: how to combine insights from different disciplines like linguistics, communication and pedagogy and having lack of power to effectuate change. But also: how working with ‘people from the local scene’ helps to come to new understandings of conversational practices and how this can open doors to valorize outcomes.

I will illustrate these dilemma’s and opportunities with stories and data coming from an ongoing research project on collaboration between professional foster parents and biological parents regarding the upbringing of adolescents living in (professionalized) foster care. Such collaboration is crucial for the wellbeing of the adolescent, but quite complicated since parents find it quite harsh to accept that their child cannot live home anymore and since not all foster parents know how to deal with such ambivalent emotions (Van de Koot & Noordegraaf, 2018). With this project, we want to improve the ways in which professional foster parents interact with parents by means of their telephone calls, conversations via WhatsApp and during formal evaluation meetings.

I am personally intrigued by how a simple sequential change can help to, for instance, align caller and call-taker better (Koole & Verberg 2017). I am therefore quite happy to welcome you in our University of Applied Sciences in Ede and hope to add some interventionist flavor into your work with my talk.

Antaki, C. (2011). Applied Conversation Analysis. Intervention and Change in Institutional Talk. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillam.

Koole, T., & Verberg, N,  (2017). Aligning Caller and Call-taker. The opening phrase of Dutch emergency calls, Pragmatics and Society 8:1, 129-153

Koot, D. van de  & Noordegraaf, M. (2018). ‘Jouw Gezin, Mijn Zorg?’ Hoe gezinshuisouders en ouders constructief kunnen samenwerken. Rapportage 1 Verkenning: literatuuronderzoek en interviews. Ede: Christelijke Hogeschool Ede

Keynote 2: dr. Sterre Leufkens (Utrecht University)

Transparency in language – a typological study of learnability

Are all languages equally learnable, or are some languages easier to learn than others, even for children acquiring their mother tongue? Recent studies (Leufkens 2015, Hengeveld & Leufkens 2018) have investigated this question by comparing genetically and typologically diverse languages on their degree of transparency, which I argue to be a strong determiner of learnability. In these studies, transparency is defined as a one-to-one relation between meaning and form, operationalized in the framework of Functional Discourse Grammar. Transparency can be violated in multiple ways: by forms that have no corresponding meaning, by meanings that are expressed in multiple forms, and by instances of fusion that obscure the boundaries between form. All languages turn out to violate transparency in one way or another, but they differ in the amount of non-transparent features and in the type of non-transparency exhibited.

In this talk, I will show that languages can be ranked on their degree of transparency, suggesting that some languages are more learnable than others, even from the point of view of first language acquisition. Furthermore, I will show how non-transparent features can be ranked into an implicational hierarchy of non-transparency. Both the language ranking and the feature hierarchy can partly be accounted for by sociolinguistic characteristics of the communities by which the languages are spoken, but some interesting questions about the role of language contact and the process of first language acquisition remain.

Hengeveld, Kees & Leufkens, Sterre (2018). Transparent and non-transparent languages. Folia Linguistica 52 (1), 139-175.

Leufkens, Sterre (2015). Transparency in language – A typological study [LOT Dissertation Series; 380]. Utrecht: LOT.