University of Oulu

Tuncer, S., & Haddington, P. (2020). Object transfers: An embodied resource to progress joint activities and build relative agency. Language in Society, 49(1), 61-87. doi:10.1017/S004740451900071X

Object transfers : an embodied resource to progress joint activities and build relative agency

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Author: Tuncer, Sylvaine1; Haddington, Pentti2
Organizations: 1Stockholm University, Sweden
2University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Cambridge University Press, 2020
Publish Date: 2019-10-02


This article builds on ethnomethodological, conversation analytic research on object transfers: how participants hand over objects to one another. By analyzing video recordings of mundane (cars) and institutional interactions (laboratories), we focus on situations where an object is central to and talked about in the joint course of action. We focus on different organizations of object transfer and show that one embodied move is decisive, either a sequentially implicative ‘give’ or an arm extension designed as a stand-alone ‘take’. We examine the interrelationship between the organization of the object transfer and the broader course of action (e.g. request or offer sequence), which is either overlapping or intersecting. We demonstrate that by making the decisive move, either the participant initially holding the object or her recipient critically influences the progression and trajectory of the activity, and displays agency.

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Series: Language in society
ISSN: 0047-4045
ISSN-E: 1469-8013
ISSN-L: 0047-4045
Volume: 49
Issue: 1
Pages: 61 - 87
DOI: 10.1017/S004740451900071X
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Copyright information: © Cambridge University Press 2019. This article has been published in a revised form in Language in Society This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works.