Lecture by Honorary Doctor John Heritage

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Humanistiska teatern
  • Lecturer: John Heritage, Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Organiser: Department of Linguistics and Philology
  • Contact person: Anna Lindström
  • Föreläsning

Public lecture by Professor John Heritage, appointed honorary doctor of the Faculty of Languages 2019, with the title Agency in Response: Polar Questions and Other Contexts.

Abstract: In recent studies of question-answer sequences, the distinction between interjective (most prominently, yes/no) and repetitional responses has assumed widespread prominence. Interjective responses have been found to be more frequent across a wide range of languages, and it has been argued that this may embody a solution to a universal problem of how to affirm the proposition of a polar question and only that (Enfield et al. 2018). This paper reviews evidence that repetitional responses are more agentive than interjective ones (Heritage and Raymond 2005; 2012), considers the role of epistemic territories in both the choice between interjective and repetitional responses, and the underlying conditions for agentive repetition. 

John Heritage is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is an internationally leading researcher in Conversation Analysis [CA], an interdisciplinary research field that combines sociological, linguistic and anthropological approaches that focus on language as social action. Over the past three decades, Heritage has developed both basic research and applied research in the field of conversational analysis. Through the Uppsala Antibiotic Centre, he has participated since 2017 in a linguistic project on the prescribing of antibiotics. Heritage is appointed an Honorary Doctor by the Faculty of Languages because his research and educational achievements have contributed to the use of CA in many different languages in everyday and institutional contexts.