University of Oulu

Vatanen, A. (2021). Co-presence during lapses: On “comfortable silences” in Finnish everyday interaction. In J. Lindström, R. Laury, A. Peräkylä, & M.-L. Sorjonen (Eds.), Pragmatics & Beyond New Series (Vol. 326, p. 251). John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Co-presence during lapses : on “comfortable silences” in Finnish everyday interaction

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Author: Vatanen, Anna1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2021
Publish Date: 2023-01-25


This study examines video-recorded, naturally occurring Finnish dyads focusing on lapses (inter-sequential silences). During most lapses, participants undertake bodily activities or behaviors (Hoey 2015). Adding to previous work, this study describes “comfortable” silences where participants share the moment with no bodily activities or mutual gaze, inhabiting the silence with simple co-presence. The analysis suggests that instead of the gathering/encounter dualism, participant behavior in social situations is better described as a continuum of orientations. Also during the “comfortable” silences, understanding of behavioral involvements is intersubjectively created and maintained. Thus, even outside of sequences that allegedly create and maintain the “architecture of intersubjectivity” (Heritage 1984), social organization is jointly negotiated and achieved, most importantly by mutual monitoring and reciprocation of (bodily) orientations.

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Series: Pragmatics & beyond. New series
ISSN: 0922-842X
ISSN-L: 0922-842X
ISBN Print: 978-90-272-5903-5
Issue: 326
Pages: 251 - 276
DOI: 10.1075/pbns.326.12vat
Host publication: Intersubjectivity in action : studies in language and social interaction
Host publication editor: Lindström, Jan
Laury, Ritva
Peräkylä, Anssi
Sorjonen, Marja-Leena
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Copyright information: © John Benjamins. The version of record Pragmatics & Beyond New Series vol. 326 is available online at: DOI 10.1075/pbns.326.12vat and