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Aspects and elements of a dialogical approach to language, communication
and cognition
Per Linell
Department of Communication Studies
Linköping University, Sweden
List of contents:
1. Introduction: Dialogue, dialogism and dialogicality as concepts and terms
2. Dialogism and the ‘dialogical principles’
2.1. Interactionism
2.3. Communicative constructionism
2.3.1. Dialogism and realism
2.3.2. A note on rampant situationalism
2.4. Semiotic mediation
2.5. Double dialogicality
2.5.1. Situated meaning-making
2.5.2. Sociocultural practices
2.5.3. Sharedness at two levels
2.5.4. The balance between situated interaction and situation-transcending practices
2.6. Talk-in-interaction as metaphor andmetonymy
2.7. Dialogism: Epistemology or ontology?
3. Monologism
3.1. Dialogism as a counter-theory to monologism
3.2. The ontology of monologism
3.3. Cognition and communication
4. Dialogue and the other
4.1. Individual vs. social construction
4.1.1. Intrapersonal (individual) construction of meaning
4.1.2. Interpersonal (communicative) construction of meaning
4.2. Individual agency
4.3.Other-orientedness I: Intersubjectivity
4.3.1. Against the idea of ‘the group mind’
4.4. Other-orientedness II: Alterity
4.5. Equilibrium vs. tension: Dialogue as unfinished
4.6. Self and others: ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘it’, ‘we’, ‘they’, ‘one’
4.7. Third parties
4.8. Relations in an ‘inter-world’.
5. Monological and dialogical practices
(a) responsivity
(b) addressivity
(c) genre-belongingness
(d)perspectivity and voicedness
(e) imposition of response
6. The role of dynamics
6.1. Genetic aspects of dialogue
6.2. Embodiment, time and historicity
7. Meaning and understanding
7.1 Sense-making in situ
7.2. Revealing and hiding
7.3. Implicitness
7.4. Partial understandings
7.5. Meaning potentials
7.6. Thinking in oppositions
7.7. Perspectivity
7.8. The architecture ofinteraction: Responses and initiatives
7.9. Sequentiality, joint construction and act-activity interdependence
7.10. Communicative activity types
8. Other aspects and elements of dialogical approaches
8.1. The biological foundation
8.2. The mind: body and culture
8.3. Action and meaning
8.4. Utterances
8.5. Thoughts
8.6. Texts
8.7. Intrapersonal (‘internal’) dialogue
8.8. Knowledge
8.9. Languageand narrativity
8.10. Polyvocality and heteroglossia
8.10.1. Polyvocality in single utterances and texts
8.10.2. Heteroglossia in communities
8.11. Discourses and discursive orders
8.12. Recontextualisations and intertextuality
8.13. Multiple channels of mediation
8.14. Asymmetries, boundaries and tensions
8.15. Potentialities and vulnerabilities
9. Against Cartesian dichotomies
10. Avery brief history of ideas
10.1. Monologism
10.2. Precursors of dialogism
10.3. Empirical approaches to interaction
11. Dialogism in language studies
12. Dialogue and computers
13. Dialogism and science
14. Some controversies and dilemmas in dialogism
15. Beyond dialogism: Fallacies, misunderstandings, abuses
1. Introduction: Dialogue, dialogism and dialogicality as concepts and terms.The purpose of this text1 is to summarise in a concise manner some aspects and elements of a
‘dialogical’ or ‘dialogist’ approach to language, communication and cognition. It should be
seen as a relatively brief overview of a number of ‘dialogical’ themes. Naturally, the text
cannot explain any of these themes in depth. For that, the reader should go on to consult
references made in thetext.
The term ‘dialogism’ can be used in many ways. Some scholars use in a rather narrow
sense, e.g. referring to the philosophy of human relations in the work of, among others, Martin
Buber or Mikhail Bakhtin (cf. Holquist, 1990). I shall join other scholars in using ‘dialogism’ in
a much more comprehensive and inclusive way, referring to several mutually related (or
sometimes not so very...