Liminality in language use: some thoughts on interactional analysis from a dialogical perspective

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This essay traces my engagement with Michèle Grossen's ideas of a dialogical perspective on interaction analysis (Grossen Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 1-22, 2009) and highlights a process account of self in interaction. Firstly I draw on Turner's concept of liminality with respect to the transformative, temporal significance in interaction. Secondly I explored further the conversation analytic concepts such as formulation and reformulation as a viable analytical tool for a dialogical perspective. Lastly, I addressed the issue of interaction in institutional settings, in particular with interactional asymmetries of interaction, whilst relativising the I-position dialogical perspective. I explore insights from social anthropology as well as revisiting conversation analysis and discursive psychology, concluding that a promising direction would be sought through a cross-fertilisation between dialogism and other sibling perspectives concerning language use, communication, social action and discourse- and narrative-based analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalIntegrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010


  • Dialogical perspective
  • Interaction analysis
  • Liminality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Anthropology
  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology


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