Center for Language Acquisition at the Pennsylvania State University

Invited Lecture: Goodwin


Dr. Charles Goodwin, Professor of Applied Linguistics at UCLA, presented a lecture entitled:

 

 

"The Co-operative organization of human action"

 

 

Date:  Wednesday, October 16

Time:  4:15-5:45 p.m.

Location:  Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library

 

Human action is built by actively combining materials with intrinsically different properties:  language, prosody, gesture, embodied participation frameworks, and materials in the environment.  The simultaneous use of different kinds of resources to build single actions has a number of consequences.  First, different actors can contribute diferent kinds of materials to the construction of a single action.  Someone with aphasia who cannot produce lexical and syntactic structure can nonetheless contribute crucial prosodic and sequential materials to a local action, while appropriating others' lexical contributions, and thus become a powerful speaker in conversation, despite catastrophically impoverished language.  Second, action can be built through transformations of the materials provided by a prior action.  Third, the distributed, compositional structure of action provides a framework for developing the skills of newcomers within structured collaborative action.  Combinatorial heterogeneity sits at the heart of human action in interaction, creating within the unfolding organization of situated activity the distinctive forms of transformative collaborative action in the world.

 

Charles Goodwin is Professor of Applied Linguistics at UCLA.  His interests include video analysis of talk-in-interaction, cognition in the lived social world, aphasia in discourse, languagein the professions, and the ethnography of science.  His publications include Rethinking Context (co-edited with Alessandro Duranti), Cambridge, 1992), Conversation and Brain Damage (Oxford, 2003), and a wide range of journal articles.



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