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Emerging framework for the analysis of human interaction

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Abstract from Nick Enfield:

In this talk I will discuss an emerging framework for the analysis of human interaction, as part of a major comparative research project on "Interactional Foundations of Language" being carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

The framework being developed here builds on a causal-temporal perspective on human interaction called "enchrony" (something like 'interactional time'). At the core of enchrony is the 'semiotic process' (following Peirce), and through the elements of this very general type of process we are able to dissolve any dichotomy between 'cognition' and 'action'. The talk looks at how this framework allows us to define the distributedness of agency and cognition (following Goffman, Hutchins, and others).

The broader project of which this is a part is focused on the construction of comparative corpora consisting of video-recordings of everyday social interaction (non-institutional, among friends and family) in village settings from around the world (including Laos, Ghana, Papua New Guinea, Aboriginal Australia, Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, Italy, Nepal, Taiwan, Iceland, USA, UK). These corpora feed into several sub-projects that systematically compare structures of enchronic social action.