Every naturally occurring activity has its own specific sets of available resources for action. For example, spoken language is often a central communicative resource in human interaction. However, in most situations talk is not the only resource at hand. When we speak to each other, we often have the possibility also to see each other. This makes it possible to use the body and its relation to the material surround for communicative purposes. Therefore, when we communicate in real time we usually mobilise a number of mutually dependent and simultaneous behaviours. One example is when we point. The pointing hand often needs a verbal utterance for the recipient to understand, and, reflexively, the verbal utterance needs the pointing hand to be fully understood. The scientific approach that takes a particular interest in communication and interaction by means of several communicative resources is called multimodal interaction analysis, or multimodal conversation analysis, and this is where my own work is mainly situated.
Currently, research two topics that are both related to traffic: how autonomous vehicles manage real traffic situations, and how preschool children learn to participate in traffic.
Based on detailed analyses of video recordings of a range of situations – where people speak French, Swedish or English – I have identified a number of everyday and professional ways of accomplishing particular actions, and showed their practical relevance in different activities. How people close down conversational sequences, theatre goers laugh together, television production crews live-edit studio interviews, and learning to drive in driving schools are some of the things that I have so far studied.
I teach courses in interaction analysis and linguistics at the Department of Culture and Society (IKOS), mostly at the bachelor’s and master’s programmes in cognitive science. I am currently the deputy dean for research and research training at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.