University of Oulu

Helisten, M., & Siromaa, M. (2022). ‘Right, already brewing there’: Arriving to the staff breakroom and beginning interaction with a co-present colleague. Journal of Pragmatics, 193, 139–154.

‘Right, already brewing there’ : arriving to the staff breakroom and beginning interaction with a co-present colleague

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Author: Helisten, Marika1; Siromaa, Maarit1
Organizations: 1Research Unit for Languages and Literature, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-10-11


This study investigates beginnings of dyadic encounters between acquainted persons in a ‘semi-public’ space, namely, staff breakrooms of Finnish work communities. Drawing on video data and using ethnomethodological conversation analysis as the method, we examine the coordinated vocal-bodily exchanges that participants carry out under close mutual monitoring as they establish co-presence and initiate interaction (through greetings and registerings) while also engaging in other, situated, break-relevant activities as part of an oriented-to, established routine of beginning, and being on, a break from work. We show how participants skillfully manage their simultaneous involvements in these activities, and how the specific vocal-bodily practices by which participants open their encounters in the breakroom index their orientation to each other as ‘familiars’ and to their encounters as highly routinized, recurring and ‘expected’ (rather than as ‘special’ or ‘not-everyday’) occurrences. Data are in Finnish with English translation.

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Series: Journal of pragmatics
ISSN: 0378-2166
ISSN-E: 1879-1387
ISSN-L: 0378-2166
Volume: 193
Pages: 139 - 154
DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2022.03.016
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Funding: This work was supported by the Eudaimonia Institute of the University of Oulu.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CC BY license (