Epistemic stance, subjectivity and intersubjectivity in student-student interaction: – Danish vs. English as a lingua franca

Janus Mortensen (Lecturer)

    Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution


    The use of English as a lingua franca for spoken interaction has become more and more common at Danish universities over the past 20 years, for instance among collaborating students enrolled on international study programmes. What are the characteristics of such lingua franca interactions, and how do they compare to interactions where participants employ Danish as a shared first language? These are two of the basic questions that I address in my ongoing PhD research.

         The topic of this presentation is students’ use of epistemic stance marking in problem solving sequences during project group meetings. My talk is based on a case study of sequences from two meetings, one where Danish is used, as a first language, and one where English is used, as a lingua franca. I shall argue that the use of epistemic stance marking, although obviously realized by different means, is functionally quite similar across the two meetings. In both meetings, the participants’ use of epistemic stance marking is linked to subjectivity, understood as ‘self-expression in the use of language’ (Lyons 1994: 14), but epistemic stance marking also plays an important role in opening up the interactional space. This is best described as a dialogic, intersubjective function. 

    Period17 Sep 2009
    Event typeSeminar
    LocationRoskilde, Denmark