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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton March 6, 2007

Stance taking in conversation: From subjectivity to intersubjectivity

Elise Kärkkäinen
From the journal


In this paper I argue that stance in discourse is not the transparent linguistic packaging of ‘internal states’ of knowledge, but rather emerges from dialogic interaction between interlocutors. Thus, stance is more properly viewed from an intersubjective vantage point, rather than being regarded as primarily a subjective dimension of language. I begin by outlining patterns of epistemic stance marking within the speech of single speakers and show that these arise from the intersubjectivity between conversational co-participants. Then, I focus on stance taking as a joint activity between participants in story reception sequences and demonstrate that stances often emerge as a result of joint engagement in evaluative activity. Finally, I concentrate on how the particular linguistic resources used for stance taking fit into the intersubjective pattern by demonstrating syntactic, semantic, and prosodic resonances between contributions by different speakers.

*Address for correspondence: Department of English, Box 1000, 90014 University of Oulu, Finland

Published Online: 2007-03-06
Published in Print: 2006-12-19

© Walter de Gruyter