Seminar Series


Department of Linguistics seminars are held on Fridays, 12:00–1:30pm.
Enquires: ,

24 February: Workshop organised by Maïa Ponsonnet
Rogers Room, Woolley building

Emotional ‘sprinklers’: Interjections and evaluative morphology in Australian languages and elsewhere
Download the workshop program, PDF (150KB)


17 March: Anna Vatanen, University of Helsinki
Rogers Room, Woolley building

Anna is visiting our Department at The University of Sydney this semester.

Silent moments in Finnish everyday interactions: co-presence, conversational activities and participant orientations

In this talk I will explore moments of silence in interaction, especially the lapses that occur between sequences of talk. These silences can be characterized, at least potentially, as “the conspicuous absence of talk” (see Hoey 2015). Data from videotaped, naturally occurring everyday interactions among intimates will be examined with conversation analytic methods. Participants in the data are speakers of Finnish, who are stereotypically regarded as favouring silence in situations where speakers of many other languages assumedly prefer talk. I will examine what happens both before, during and after the lapses.

First, during the lapses the participants use certain embodied and vocal means to manage the lapse and to display their orientation to it as possibly problematic; here discussion on co-presence and (dis)engagement become relevant. Second, exploring pre- and post-lapse talk will bring in the issues of conversational activities and topic talk: it seems that there is a relationship between the ongoing activity and the participants’ observable orientation to the lapse. Furthermore, I will show that the participants exploit specific linguistic resources for indicating whether their post-lapse talk is expanding and tying to the topic prior to the lapse or whether they are initiating something new.

With these observations I hope to provide some evidence that real-life Finnish interactions match the widely held stereotype at most only marginally/partially.


31 March: Mark Ellison, The Australian National University
S226 (MECO), Woolley building

28 April: TBA
S226 (MECO), Woolley building

19 May: Gwendolyn Hyslop, The University of Sydney
Rogers Room, Woolley building

2 June: William Foley, The University of Sydney
Rogers Room, Woolley building
Nominalizations in Role and Reference Grammar